Salford Red Devils coach Paul Rowley on resilience, ‘tarantula theory’ and success against the odds

George Riley
Paul Rowley Salford Red Devils Alamy

Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley - Alamy

Jurgen Klopp should try being Salford Red Devils boss if he thinks football wears you down, with head coach Paul Rowley admitting he is hardened to the perpetual adversity at the Red Devils. 

Salford will open their Super League campaign against a Leeds Rhinos side boasting two star players signed from the Red Devils.

And Rowley admits that although losing Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers from his squad hit him hard, he has learned how to roll with the punches of trying to build and coach a team against a backdrop of financial constraints.

“It makes your job harder,” Rowley told Love Rugby League, with the club currently placed under special measures after concerns relating to their financial sustainability, necessitating the sales of Croft, Ackers and Tyler Dupree. 

“It is like tarantula theory. The first time I move my hand I will be frightened to death, after about 10 times I just let it bite me and don’t feel the pain anymore.

“If Jurgen Klopp thinks he is tired then he wants to try and put a Salford trackie on! Jurgen is just going to go and live a normal life now but I am sure he earned £15million last year.” 

Salford coach Paul Rowley wishes departed Red Devils ‘best of luck’ in next chapters: ‘When they leave I am their coach for life’

Rowley says the loss of two huge figures in his spine left him feeling grief, but has backed new stars to emerge in 2024.

He said: “Croft and Ackers have left a big hole but you have to move on really quick and I soon started to get excited about Joe Mellor and Cade Cust and the opportunities for Amir Bourouh. 

“It’s disappointing because of who they are. They are more than players to me, forget the rugby, when they leave it hurts, it is like grieving.

“We wish all our boys who have left the best of luck, when they leave I am their coach for life. My phone is on to those guys anytime they want to ring me and they know that.

“We have some wonderful characters and wonderful players here. We are a family and I like the pressure or accountability of people around me needing me and vice versa. I love the group that I represent and that is what I am there for.”

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