Salford City Reds' team ethos key to reaching Super League Grand Final, says Ian Blease
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Last Updated: 07/10/19 1:33pm
Salford City Reds CEO Ian Blease says a strong team ethos coupled with some crucial signings has been key in getting them to Saturday’s Grand Final at Old Trafford – live on Sky Sports.
The Reds finished third in the Super League table at the end of the season and lost to Wigan in the initial qualifying final.
But victory against Castleford and a revenge win over Wigan in Friday's preliminary final have secured their place against St Helens in this weekend's Grand Final, with former Salford player Blease delighted at their progress under coach Ian Watson.
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"We've signed some really good players, although some people have raised their eyebrows at the players we've brought in, but it's worked out well for us," he told Sky Sports News.
"The team camaraderie we've got at the club and the team ethos we have is brilliant.
"We all keep level headed and do it together. He's [Watson] leading that from the top and the culture is definitely there within the club now.
"We've got over a dozen players leaving us at the end of the year and it's a real shame because we have got a Grand Final team we are going to have to let go and rebuild.
"We have done that already. I've managed to do all the signings for next year, with maybe one or two more to be done.
"We're used to doing that and that's what we have had to do for many years now. It's all part of it until we maybe get some commercial or sponsorship deals in.
"It's just a norm to us to have to rebuild."
Jackson Hastings - named as the Super League Man of Steel on Monday night but on his way to Wigan next season - has been instrumental to their success.
"We knew we had a good team. We recruited well in the close season and Jackson [Hastings] signed a new deal, which we are really pleased with," added Blease.
"We were hoping for top five, that was our ambition, but the players put on a whiteboard that they wanted to get to the Grand Final and they've managed to do that."
Blease also noted the financial boost former owner Marwan Koukash gave the club without seeing the rewards on the pitch before he left last year.
"It was struggling and it's been well documented that he came and pumped a lot of money in and didn't get the success that is required for this club," said Blease.
"We've managed to get a bit of success in getting to the Grand Final but we're not done yet, we want to have a good go on Saturday."