“We all knew Ian Watson would go far in the game”

Ian Watson was always going make a good coach because of his knowledge and man management, according to Salford hooker Andy Ackers.

Ackers first played under Watson when the latter was player-coach at Championship side Swinton back in 2014, and the pair have recently reunited, with Watson signing Ackers for the Red Devils in Super League.

“We all knew at Swinton at the time that he was going to go far in the game because of his knowledge,” Ackers said.

“He had a lot on his shoulders in playing and coaching at the time but his man management is great.

“He is a smart bloke. He knows what he is on about and as a player you respect that. He will only make us better as players.”

Salford have reached their second major final in as many years, with the Red Devils taking on Leeds in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

Ackers is unable to play in the final because he is cup tied after playing for Toronto Wolfpack at an earlier stage, but he believes the Red Devils can lift the Challenge Cup for the first time in 82 years.

“I’m buzzing that Salford have reached Wembley,” Ackers added. “On a personal note, I’m a bit gutted to be cup tied but I’m buzzing for the team getting to the final and I can’t wait to go down and see them hopefully do the job.

“Some of the players Salford have signed are world class like Kev Brown, Dan Sarginson, Gil Dudson and Mark Flanagan.

“We’ve got plenty who have played in finals and every single one of us are competitors. Every single player at Salford is a competitor and we want to win and compete.”

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