The Salford City Reds are no more, The Salford Red Devils have come home, under the ownership of Dr Marwan Koukash. Salford have undergone a period of transition not witnessed since the halcyon days of Brian Snape and his glorious 'Quality Street Gang' of 1974. Koukash, a Palestinian refugee, who after escaping a conflict-torn country to arrive in Britain in 1977 went on to become a lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, and built his fortune after developing a global executive training company EuroMaTech alongside a successful worldwide property portfolio.
Koukash, a Horse Race tycoon, and his family - wife Mandy, daughters Layla and Lexi, and son Gabrial - have been proud advocates of the City of Salford since his takeover, personally attending the 'Taste of Red Devil' Open Evenings around the City over the Christmas period. And much like Hollywood Superstar and South Sydney Rabbitohs owner Russell Crowe, Dr Koukash isn't afraid to use his profile to promote the Red Devil brand. Former England international footballer Michael Owen this week tweeted he would love to sample a taste of The Devilution in 2014. Whilst Rugby League superstars Billy Slater and Sonny Bill Williams were both pictured enjoying a guided tour of Salford's now world class facilities.
Whilst The good Dr. has been turning the international world a shade of red and gold, Welfare manager and 90's Salford Legend Paul Highton has finally seen the club he loves shake of the shackles of mediocrity, witnessing at first hand a rags to riches story for his beloved club.
Highton, a loyal servant to Salford typically went the extra mile during the off season overseeing the arrival of world class equipment and facilities, now enabling Salford to boast the finest facilities in the league. Not only has Dr Koukash come through on his promise to change the ethos of the club he has spent thousands installing a bespoke gym built on sight at the Salford Stadium, a players lounge complete with flat screen TV, Rijo 42 coffee machines, indoor warm-up pitch and a physio team that is befitting of such an ambitious and now first class professional club.
On the field, Salford head coach and former Bradford Legend Brian Noble has been given an open cheque book which has stunned the League fraternity with the arrival of fourteen quality acquisitions from across the globe.
The influx of stars have seen Salford go from cellar dwellers to potential top four gatecrashers. The new era Red Devils are as follows: Parramatta starlet Jake Mullaney, Samoan international Junior S'au, former Brisbane Bronco Lama Tasi, Saint Helens duo Tony Puletua and Francis Meli, England international and 'Man Of Steel' Rangi Chase, The 'Wakefield Wizard' Tim Smith, England forward Gareth Hock, Salford born legend Adrian Morley, Wigan's Harrison Hansen, New Zealand Warrior Steve Rapari, Batley Duo Greg Johnson and Jason Walton, and last but not least former Hull, Huddersfield, London and Wakefield hooker Tommy Lee.
Unusually for Salford the strength in depth is strong, this being one area that Salford have previously suffered with.
Despite the loss of crowd favourite Jodie Broughton to 2013 table toppers Huddersfield Giants, Noble has retained the services of the talented second rowers Matty Ashurst and Andrew Dixon, speedster Danny Williams, inspirational centre Martin Gleeson, forwards Darrell Griffin and Shannon McPherson, Oldham born Walne Brothers, Salford born Will Hope and Jonathan Davies. Whilst at hooker it's a three-way battle with exciting French International Theo Fages, Gareth Owen and the returning Stuart Howarth all vying for a first team spot.
2014 will herald the hundredth anniversary of Salford's first ever championship winning team of 1914, and the rebirth of a proud legacy. You won't want to miss the most exciting season ever. Salford Red Devils kick off their Super League campaign Live on SKY Vs Wakefield Trinity on Sunday 16th February at 3pm.
Salford will bring Hell: don't miss a minute. Salford Red Devils season tickets on sale now wwww.thereddevils.net Follow me on Twitter @MsCityRedGirl, Dr Koukash- @DrMarwanK, Paul Highton @Highto14 and Salford Red Devils @SalfordDevils
(Image Copyright - Louise Woodward-Styles)
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