Ian Watson reveals the major difference between coaching Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils

It’s fair to say that Ian Watson is one of the most talented young coaches in world rugby league.

At Salford Red Devils, Watson worked wonders on a tight budget, guiding the club to a Grand Final and then a Challenge Cup Final – though he did end up losing both.

Ahead of the 2021 Super League season, Watson made the move to the Huddersfield Giants where he endured a difficult first year trying to transform the side from perennial strugglers to silverware hunters.

That, however, has been conquered in just 18 months with the West Yorkshire club not only reaching the Challenge Cup Final earlier this year, but they are now well-placed in the play-offs to cause difficulty for the likes of St Helens and Wigan Warriors.

For Watson himself, moving from Salford to Huddersfield is always going to bring up differences, but, in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Giants’ elimination fixture against the Red Devils on Saturday afternoon, Watson revealed the major difference between the two clubs.

“One good thing at Huddersfield is you can have a real succession plan going forward,” Watson said.

“We’ve got five young players who are now training with us who are academy players. That’s what Salford didn’t have, but we can involve younger players going forward.

“At Salford the succession plan was to focus on the first team or wait for those that fall out of the top clubs then wait to pick them up.”

For the Lancastrian, those young players such as Oliver Wilson, Owen Trout, Oliver Russell and Matty English to name but a few, are set to be the cornerstone of the Huddersfield side in years to come.

The future looks incredibly bright for Watson and the Giants in Super League, and, instead of looking over their shoulders at those chasing their tails, they can now look up and aim for higher in years to come.

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