I feel sorry for our boys, they don’t deserve this: Rowley’s Salford frustration

Paul Rowley Salford
Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com

Salford boss Paul Rowley says he feels sorry for his players who are having to cut corners due to strained resources at the Super League club.

The Red Devils are pushing for the playoffs after a strong run of form, but Rowley believes financial uncertainty and a lack of budget is hampering their progress. 

“We are all learning, and that is what Salford is about, our circle is ‘nothing in, nothing out’, a tight group,” Rowley reveals on the latest Love Rugby League podcast

“We are not well resourced and that is where we grow. Sometimes I feel sorry for the boys. They didn’t deserve to travel up on the bus to Magic Weekend at half seven in the morning and then play. That hurt me a little bit, I don’t want them to have to do that.

“But I don’t dwell or sweat the small stuff. We are resilient and have tried to stay away from routine to make us more hardened and resilient.”

READ: The most potent attack in Super League: Why Salford are firing

Looking after players as a father figure

Rowley feels that doing it tough – and his experiences of this with cash-strapped Toronto – have allowed him to build empathy as a coach.

“I would 100 per cent say that I have a huge amount of empathy, sympathy, care and love for people in my environment. Most players who have been coached by me will have a private story about how I have looked after them or an occasion they have cried on my shoulder and I’ve cried back. But that is coaching and management is the true skill of it all in my opinion.”

Ryan Brierley tells the story of how Tim Lafai moved into a house with a damp problem after moving over from Australia. When a Rowley found out he drove round and moved him out of there himself. 

“With the NRL players it takes them a while to realise they can ring me,” Rowley said. “This is a circle and I want to know everything and I want to deal with it.

“As I said to Tim, when you’re here I’m your dad and I look after you, There will be an occasion that will remain private when they realise that I will look after them. I’m a players’ man before anything else. I look after them, that is the most important thing.”

PODCASTPaul Rowley on potent Salford, Leigh for SL, Toronto experience & remembering Ricky

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app and podcast


  1. Good article, just about sums up what rugby league is all about. Hopefully a new fan base can come through at Salford. Hoping they can keep their base at the Willows! Never easy without cash backing, but the attitude is positive. Best of luck to Salford, hope they make it to the play-offs. Would do my club Wakefield a huge favor by beating Toulouse today! Come on the Red Devils!

  2. Salford I went to every game with my dad till I was 11 and dad had a heart attack and was advised not to go to matches . I’ve kept a eye on you ever since. My husband took me to your last match at the willows against castleford I stood in the same spot as I did as a child with my dad . I was quite first half until as usual castleford became their dirty usual self . I’ve even got my husband a silly football supporter watching you . You can do this lads you have powers above you watching you from above . We will be cheering you on from Spain I will be wearing my Salford shirt with pride born in Salford always a Salford girl come on you Red Devils remember we love you xx

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