Salford boss Paul Rowley says he feels sorry for his players who are having to cut corners due to strained resources at the Super League club.
The Red Devils are pushing for the playoffs after a strong run of form, but Rowley believes financial uncertainty and a lack of budget is hampering their progress.
“We are all learning, and that is what Salford is about, our circle is ‘nothing in, nothing out’, a tight group,” Rowley reveals on the latest Love Rugby League podcast.
“We are not well resourced and that is where we grow. Sometimes I feel sorry for the boys. They didn’t deserve to travel up on the bus to Magic Weekend at half seven in the morning and then play. That hurt me a little bit, I don’t want them to have to do that.
“But I don’t dwell or sweat the small stuff. We are resilient and have tried to stay away from routine to make us more hardened and resilient.”
Looking after players as a father figure
Rowley feels that doing it tough – and his experiences of this with cash-strapped Toronto – have allowed him to build empathy as a coach.
“I would 100 per cent say that I have a huge amount of empathy, sympathy, care and love for people in my environment. Most players who have been coached by me will have a private story about how I have looked after them or an occasion they have cried on my shoulder and I’ve cried back. But that is coaching and management is the true skill of it all in my opinion.”
Ryan Brierley tells the story of how Tim Lafai moved into a house with a damp problem after moving over from Australia. When a Rowley found out he drove round and moved him out of there himself.
“With the NRL players it takes them a while to realise they can ring me,” Rowley said. “This is a circle and I want to know everything and I want to deal with it.
“As I said to Tim, when you’re here I’m your dad and I look after you, There will be an occasion that will remain private when they realise that I will look after them. I’m a players’ man before anything else. I look after them, that is the most important thing.”
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