Salford can compete at the top in 2019, says Watson

Salford head coach Ian Watson believes the Red Devils have the quality to push for the play-offs next year.

The club has recruited impressively ahead of 2019, retaining the likes of Jackson Hastings and Joey Lussick along with the signing of Ken Sio among others.

Despite that, Salford will inevitably be tipped to struggle again next year, which Watson has already come to terms with during his time in charge.

However, he believes they can be a surprise package next year.

“If you look at our squad this year we’ve invested in quality,” he said.

“We’ve a small squad again, but every penny had gone into the quality of player. We have genuine competition in our team and a lot of utility value in there with players being able to play numerous positions. It puts that bit more competition on players fighting for their spot.”

Watson’s side has returned for pre-season training already with the majority of the squad already in. Tyrone McCarthy and Niall Evalds have yet to report back after their international commitments, while Sio’s visa has yet to be finalised.

Like last year, Watson plans on bringing ball skill sessions into the club’s pre-season regime early.

“We will bring the ball in a lot earlier. It’s important we put the ball in there as well rather than just the old style pre-season where you’re running laps. Those days have long gone. Getting ball in hand is a big one.”