SRD Player Development


New era of player development at Red Devils with Rising stars programme

November is historically the time of year that the big names begin their pre-season training across Super League and Salford Red Devils are no different. However, it is behind the scenes, where some large structural changes have begun taking place to rejuvenate our youth development programme.


Buoyed by the news that Tim Sheens will be Director of Rugby for the long term, Salford Red Devils’ player development and Foundation units have developed a new programme designed to engage the best players from across Salford, Manchester, Trafford and Bury. The ‘Rising Stars’ programme will set out a clear pathway for potential young players aged 11 upwards to help them achieve their goals of first team rugby.


Cohorts of players will undertake intense training and support at the u12, u13 and u14 age group before joining the u16 programme. There is a target to have 75%+ of those playing to be from our local schools and community clubs, which will be led on by Folly Lane product Danny Barton and supported by Eccles superstar Adrian Morley. These will be able to call on a wealth of experience in the form of Garreth Carvell, Martin Gleeson and Eccles player, turned Red Devils first team coach, Ian Watson.


To underpin this, we have launched a series of initiatives including a community club youth panel group, a group of ‘community scouts’ is now out in the community looking for playing talent and a comprehensive programme of CPD is running to up skill teachers, coaches and volunteers. 60 local players have just begun at the Red Devils with the U16s and they will be supported by lots of newly qualified, highly motivated, highly valued local coaches and volunteers.


Salford Red Devils have made further commitments to local rugby league by funding dozens of new Level 2 qualified coaches, become an accredited centre for Rugby League Learning, as well as working on programmes to ensure players successfully re-integrate back in to the local game after their SRD experiences.


Red Devils CEO Martin Vickers said “we are totally committed to growing the game locally and these steps have shown some real progress. The arrival of Tim gives our youth development programme a great figurehead and we look forward to seeing the success seen by last year’s u19 across the whole of the system”


Foundation Director Mark Brocklehurst added “a lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes to convince people that these changes are real, but the last 12 months have seen us make some great strides. We still have a long way to go, but our aim is to make sure all those connected to rugby league locally feel valued and see the Red Devils as a power for good.”


For more information about how to play, coach or volunteer within this new system, please contact Danny Barton on 0161 786 1591, via or check out RISING STARS for more details.