Competition for places is growing at Salford Red Devils, but Elliot Kear is ready for the challenge and is out to fight for a place in the matchday squad.
Kear joined Salford from London Broncos last year and made nine appearances.
The Red Devils boast an experienced backline in 2021, with the likes of Kallum Watkins, Dan Sarginson, Krisnan Inu, Ken Sio, Morgan Escaré, Matty Costello, Rhys Williams and Joe Burgess all in the mix in the back five.
But the Welshman says he has been working hard in pre-season to ensure he can play regularly this year.
“Competition’s a good thing because it makes you want to be better as a person and as a player,” says Kear.
“If you’re not quite doing enough to get in the team then you’re going to work harder, which pushes the lads that are in there to keep their spot. So the competition for places is always a good thing for the club.
“I’ll be happy enough playing, but if I’m not playing I’ll be doing my utmost to get back into that squad. I’m 32 now, and I’m not young any more, so I don’t want to be on the sidelines and getting flogged.”
Kear has played primarily at centre in recent seasons, but has experience at both fullback and wing. And he isn’t worried where he lines up in Salford’s backline, as long as he’s on the pitch.
“Over the years I’ve played a lot of centre the past four or five years, so I’m probably most confident there. But I started off as a fullback and wing and I’m happy playing anywhere,” he adds.
“Ian Watson found last year when there were a few injuries that I can go in any of the backline roles and do a decent job. So I’m happy wherever I am, as long as I’m playing.”
Kear says there have been changes in training at the Red Devils under new coach Richard Marshall, particularly an increased focus on defence, but it has been a positive move.
“You always find that a new coach wants to come in and stamp his mark on how he wants training to be, so inevitably things change.
“But it’s been good. The boys have been digging in and it’s been tough, so I think we’re in the best possible position going into the new season.”
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