New Salford coach Richard Marshall plans on leaving a legacy at the club, in the shape of a generation of homegrown stars.
Marshall was unveiled as the club’s new head coach last Tuesday, taking over from Ian Watson.
He is tasked with continuing the club’s upward trajectory, but Marshall is also keen on ensuring the club produces its own players for the years to come.
Marshall, a vocal advocate for reserve grade and youth development, believes focused efforts on young and homegrown talent can help the club grow in the future.
“Youth development works on every level,” he said.
“If you get a player from the local community and he comes through the system, you can get 20 per cent more from a player.
“I’ve seen that, there was a template we used at Halifax and we produced dozens of players for the competition and for Halifax. That’s something I’m looking to do here.
“It takes a lot of work, you need some support from the supporters’ trust, and I know Salford’s is very good and supportive. I’ll be looking to utilise all those local links and build those pathways.
“It was one of my first questions to Paul King and Ian Blease, the vision for the future and how can we facilitate young players playing for Salford, and they had quite a lot of answers, to be honest.
“I was really pleased with the outcome of those conversations. It’s a vibrant city in terms of talent; it’s had a successful Academy previously. Fingers crossed everything gets back to normal and we can start to build on that again. I know it works and I know I can help.”
Marshall arrives after 18 successful months as an assistant at St Helens, where he aided the club to back-to-back Grand Finals. Before that, Marshall spent just over four years at Championship side Halifax, where he exceeded expectations to guide the club to the top four of the competition three times in four seasons.
“The challenges are similar in some respects,” he said.
“There’s a better support network here but at the end of the day you’ve got to win Rugby League games, that’s the job. I built a team at Halifax and had a good relationship with the supporters there and I envisage doing the same here, getting on board with them and the community.
“I’m local, I’ve got a real good feel for the place.”
Recruitment will be Marshall’s initial focus though he doesn’t expect a flurry of activity.
“I’ll assess the squad and get to grips with that. I’ll speak to some of the senior members. But I can’t see there being wholesale changes given the success they’ve had, but I think we can improve in certain areas.
“As I mentioned, the discipline and work ethic is there. When coaches come in they can speak about changing the culture, that won’t be happening here because it’s really good, I’ll just be adding to that and making sure we don’t stray off that path.”
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