Super League: Alan Hunte among the front runners for Salford City Reds job

Last Updated: 13/03/13 12:03pm

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Salford owner Marwan Koukash insists temporary head coach Alan Hunte has a 'good a chance' as anyone at landing the position on a permanent basis.

Hunte, who played for St Helens, Hull FC and Salford during his playing career, took charge of the team for the first time in Sunday's 23-23 draw at the Wakefield Wildcats.

A number of names have been bandied about to replace the sacked Phil Veivers, however, Koukash, who watched Sunday's game from the stands, has been impressed with the players' response to Hunte.

"Alan has as good a chance as anyone at this stage," Koukash told the Manchester Evening News. "He has risen to the challenge and got stuck in straight away.

"I saw the players in training ahead of the Wakefield game and could see the difference in their attitude and approach.

"They had smiles on their faces.

"Everything about us was so much better and credit goes to Alan for this. I saw genuine signs of all-round improvement. We looked like a team at a better standard and played as a team.

"I am impressed and I hope he can keep it up because I want him to be a strong contender for the job."


Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson labelled the decision to axe Veivers as 'rash' by someone with 'no history in the game', comments that did not go down well with Koukash.

"It upset and angered me to recently hear the Huddersfield coach criticising our decision to replace Phil Veivers," he continued. "It's nothing to do with him.

"It upset and angered me to recently hear the Huddersfield coach criticising our decision to replace Phil Veivers. It's nothing to do with him."
Koukash on Anderson

"We are here with a job to do and we have to take these decisions if we feel it is in the best interests of the club. That is what we did and we move on.

"I personally may be new to rugby league but men like Graham Lowe, Ed Farish and Andrew Chalmers have a wealth of experience and are very respected figures in the game."

The likes of Tony Iro and Tim Sheens have been linked with the vacant post and Koukash might make the trip Down Under to meet prospective candidates, with ex-Sydney Roosters boss Brian Smith the latest name said to be in the frame.

"I will do whatever is right for Salford," he concluded. "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. It has to be the right person for the job - someone who shares our vision. We cannot take any chances. I only want the very best for Salford."

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