Wilde relishing new era
Salford City Reds captain Stephen Wild will have an extra spring in his step when he leads his team out for tonight's Super League clash versus Wigan Warriors with the club's future assured at last.
The takeover of the beleaguered club by millionaire racehorse owner Marwan Koukash was completed in time for the City Reds' opening fixture at the Salford City Stadium.
Koukash, who becomes chairman of the new company, immediately pledged to transform the fortunes of Salford as he unveiled a five-year sponsorship deal with development company Peel Holdings and announced the completion of six new signings.
Three of the newcomers - Ryan McGoldrick, Rhys Williams and Jack Murphy - will go straight into Phil Veivers' team to face the Warriors, but Australian recruits Liam Foran and Vic Mauro must wait for their visas to be processed before they can link up with the club.
Koukash is confident he can help deliver silverware but admits the Reds could be in for a difficult year in 2013 after a close season of uncertainty badly affected their preparations.
"Our supporters are not stupid," Koukash said. "They realise they need to be patient.
"Some of the players are not going to be here for at least a month and, once they come in and mix with the existing team, it is going to take time."
Veivers told yesterday's news conference at Barton that the completion of the takeover had put a smile back on the faces of his players and Wild admits he cannot wait for the season to start.
"It's a relief but it's exciting as well," he said. "The past three months have been a rollercoaster for the players, with having a rescue deal set up and then falling through.
"At one stage we were thinking we'd not start Super League and now people are talking about Salford being one of the biggest clubs in a few years' time.
"We've stuck together as a team and worked hard in the off season and we'll give everything tonight. The fans will want to see some passion and hopefully we'll give them that."