Excited Noble relishing Reds chance
Former Great Britain coach Brian Noble can hardly contain his excitement as he prepares to usher in a new era for the Salford Red Devils in First Utility Super League.
The waiting is over for Noble and ambitious owner Marwan Koukash, who aim to turn last year’s Super League wooden spoonists into potential champions, starting with the visit of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats to the A J Bell Stadium on Sunday.
Together, the pair have virtually rebuilt the side that finished bottom of the table in 2013 and the majority of their 14 new signings are set to line up against the Wildcats, all with points to prove according to Noble.
“Each one of these players have a reason to be here,” said the former Bradford Bulls, Wigan Warriors and Crusaders boss.
“Myself and Marwan travelled the length and breadth of the country and interviewed twice as many players as we signed.
“Some didn't cut the mustard because cutting the mustard for us is nothing to do with the financial gains they might see.
“I wanted them to take part in a mission and to be involved in something that was unique and groundbreaking.”
Noble, Super League's most successful coach who has been in the Salford hot seat for just under 12 months, took his new-look squad to South Africa for a fortnight’s training camp in which he spelt out the club's mission statement.
“They have a motivation and a desire to do well,” he said. “We spoke about that in South Africa and we've given each other that commitment.
“We are clear on that, they are clear that they want to be a Devil and they are clear that we have a chance to make a little bit of history this year.”
Koukash has spent well over £1million to assemble a team he insists is capable of finishing in the top four at the first attempt and Noble admits there is pressure on him to deliver.
“We rebuilt the car,” Noble added. “We had a Formula One car last year that wasn't quite working - we needed a new wheel, we looked at the aerodynamics, the steering and asked if the people driving the car were the right people.
“These little adjustments can make all the difference at the highest level. It doesn't guarantee success; these blokes sticking together will guarantee us success.
“We know we're under the scrutiny of everybody within rugby league and with that, as rugby league fans are, you get people who want to death-ride you.
“They don't want you to be quite as successful as them because of what they perceive you are. We have a huge family and we're happy with what we've got and where we're going to.
“We're rocking up to do something for rugby league. We want to do unbelievably well for the sport.
“We're very ambitious - we'd like to go under the radar but we don't have much chance of that so we're going to have to take it from the top.
“We've come a long way in 11 months and I'm as excited as I've ever been to steer this ship.”