Spain coach takes on new role at Salford Red Devils: ‘An opportunity I could not turn down’

Ben Olawumi
Salford Stadium Alamy

The Salford Stadium - Alamy

Spain chief Mike Grady has been appointed as the new head coach of Salford Red Devils’ women’s team ahead of the 2024 campaign, with the aim of guiding them back up to the Super League.

Grady was appointed boss of the Spanish men’s side back in March, yet to take charge of his first game, with his sights on that front set on trying to help them qualify for the 2026 World Cup in the Southern Hemisphere.

As far as records show, he made just one competitive senior appearance in rugby league. That came back in December 2001 for then-third tier York, coming on from the bench in a 66-0 drubbing away against Barrow Raiders.

Featuring at centre, Grady had been an unused interchange the week prior as York lost 42-4 to Whitehaven.

Spain coach Mike Grady takes on new role as Salford Red Devils Women head coach: ‘An opportunity I could not turn down’

The North West native does though boast a much more extensive coaching CV, taking up his first head coach gig back in 2014 with the South Wales Scorpions, being nominated for the third tier’s Coach of the Year in his first season.

Grady too was an assistant at Newcastle Thunder and head coach at North Wales Crusaders, before linking up with Rochdale Hornets as part of their backroom team.

More recently, as well as heading up Wales’ U18s and then Spain’s men’s national team, Grady was with John Kear at Widnes Vikings. He now assumes the hotseat with the Red Devils’ women, who were beaten in the play-offs by Leigh Leopards this year.

Speaking to Salford’s club website, Grady said: “I am delighted and excited to be given this opportunity to become head coach of the women’s side, and to be part of such an iconic club like Salford. It was an opportunity I could not turn down and I can’t wait to get started.”

Red Devils chief Paul King – who this week was fined £2,000 by the RFL for comments he made about the Match Review Panel during the 2023 season – meanwhile added: “We are really pleased about Mike’s appointment.

“After speaking to him about the role and our ambitions with the women’s team, I was impressed by his enthusiasm to develop a rapidly growing part of our club.

“From the Girls Development Academy, through to the first-grade, Mike is keen to get involved and create a pathway for young girls to be the next stars of Salford Red Devils. I am excited to see what we can achieve together!”

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