Ian Watson believes Salford Red Devils’ achievements in 2019 go beyond their surprise run to the Super League Grand Final.

Having spent the previous year battling against relegation, the Red Devils defied the odds to finish third at the end of the Super League regular season and carry that form into the play-offs.

2019 Grand Final player ratings

Unfortunately, there was to be no fairytale ending for Salford as they were beaten 23-6 by St Helens at Old Trafford, but head coach Watson is in no doubt their performance this year resonates off the field as well as on it.

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Salford’s Jackson Hastings says that the Red Devils threw everything they could at St Helens

Salford’s Jackson Hastings says that the Red Devils threw everything they could at St Helens

“It’s been amazing what we’ve achieved,” Watson said. “I said in the changing rooms, it’s probably bigger than getting to a Grand Final.

“The boys have got people to fall in love with their rugby team again in Salford, so on just that side hopefully it can help to build the club from the ground upwards, which is what we need to do.

“Hopefully, we can keep some of the supporters who have got behind us at the back end of the year, and they can keep coming and we can keep a proper team.”

While Grand Final victors St Helens were saying goodbye to head coach Justin Holbrook, Salford were bidding farewell to several key players as well following the match.