Hunte in hunt for Salford job
Caretaker Salford City Reds coach Alan Hunte has “as good a chance as anyone” of landing the role on a permanent basis, according to owner Marwan Koukash.
Hunte stepped up from his role as head of youth at the City Reds to take charge of the side for Sunday’s game at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats following the sacking of head coach Phil Veivers five matches into the Super League season.
Koukash, who stood with Salford fans on the terraces at Wakefield, was encouraged by the Reds’ 23-23 draw which lifted them off the foot of the table and has hinted he is likely to give Hunte at least three more games in charge to see how he shapes up.
Hunte is now preparing the Reds for the visit of title favourites Warrington Wolves to the Salford City Stadium on Friday and is likely to be on Koukash’s short-list for the job.
“Alan has as good a chance as anyone at this stage,” Koukash told the Manchester Evening News.
“I saw the players in training ahead of the Wakefield game and could see the difference in their attitude and approach. I saw genuine signs of all-round improvement.
“Alan is very enthusiastic; he cares passionately about his involvement and he has done well so far.
“I am impressed and I hope he can keep it up because I want him to be a strong contender for the job.”
Meanwhile, former Hull FC and Bradford Bulls coach Brian Smith, the 58-year-old brother of Warrington boss Tony, is the latest big name to be linked with the vacancy.
He was sacked by Sydney Roosters at the end of last year and is currently working in rugby union.
New Zealander Tony Iro and Australian national coach Tim Sheens are others under consideration, along with former Great Britain boss Brian Noble, and Koukash says he is considering flying Down Under to meet the candidates face to face.
“I will do whatever is right for Salford,” he said. “Maybe I will have to visit both Australia and possibly New Zealand to speak in person with potential targets.
“Speaking face to face with these people and finding everything I need to find out is best.
“I will meet them because this appointment is absolutely vital in shaping the future of the whole club.”