Reds relishing home debut
Salford City Reds forward Iafeta Paleaaesina says his side will be aiming to produce a performance befitting their new surroundings when they launch their Stobart Super League campaign against Castleford Tigers at the new Salford City Stadium this evening.
The former Wigan Warriors prop admits the contrast could hardly be greater as Salford swap the dilapidated Willows for a state-of-the-art venue with all its modern facilities.
“It’s good to have a shower that works,” he said.
“It’s something the fans deserve as well, somewhere the family and friends can come and not be intimidated like they were at The Willows.
“It’s an awesome stadium. It brings a massive smile to your face. It’s certainly a lot different from The Willows.”
Paleaaesina is also a lot different this year, having shed two stone in an effort to make a big impression in his second season with Salford under new coach Phil Veivers.
The big Kiwi was not happy with his first season with the Reds and, with the reduction in the number of interchanges from 12 to 10 this year, knows he may have to endure longer game time.
“I didn’t do too well last season,” admitted Paleaaesina, who is out of contract this year.
“I missed a lot of the pre-season training so I came back early this time and I’ve had a good off season under Phil.
“I needed to get fitter. I’ve lost two stone in weight and I feel good. I’m definitely looking forward to more game time but I’ve got to fight for my spot in the 17.
“There are only 10 interchanges so I’m looking forward to more game time, although I don’t think it will make much of a difference.
“I like to bring impact and go as long as I can.”