This article originated in League Express. Read news and interviews like this first every week by purchasing the paper in stores on a Monday, or online every Sunday evening at https://pocketmags.com/league-express-magazine/3051
Salford Red Devils head coach Ian Watson has started scouring the transfer market in Australia following Daniel Vidot’s departure from the club.
The former Brisbane Broncos winger was granted an early release from his contract last month, after expressing a desire to return Down Under.
Although his departure leaves Salford’s backs roster even lighter in numbers than before, Watson now has the luxury of opening his scouting range to a worldwide capacity, as Vidot took up one of the club’s quota spots during the 2016 season.
Watson’s attempts to sign a centre have so far failed to bear fruit, with the likes of Zak Hardaker and Ben Crooks alleged targets before moving elsewhere.
Before Vidot’s exit from the AJ Bell Stadium, Watson had been forced to set his sights on domestic targets, with all of the quota positions at the club already being utilised.
However, both he and the club’s chief executive Ian Blease have now started making contact with people in Australia, and Watson insists it is pivotal that they make the most out of the opportunity.
“Those quota spots are very big,” he said.
“When you’re bringing someone over from Australia, they have to come in and be better than what you’ve already got in that position, and also set standards really high for others to follow. Unfortunately, Daniel wasn’t able to do that because of his injury.
“It does give us some room now to manipulate the market so we can bring someone in. The outside backs are where we need to strengthen.”
Vidot’s departure ended an underwhelming spell at the club for the 26-year-old. A shoulder injury saw him miss the opening three months of the season, and he went on to make just ten appearances before leaving.
Although his exit was untimely, Watson admitted that it wasn’t a surprise.
“It’s something that was going on quite a long time,” he said.
“We knew his situation when he came over here and injuries didn’t help him at first. Certain things that happened over the year were getting to him. Daniel and I sat down on numerous occasions to discuss what was going on. It certainly didn’t catch us out of the blue.”