Matty Smith eyes more history after scoring Salford's first try at AJ Bell

MATTY Smith would not mind another bit of Salford history – inflicting their most painful Challenge Cup defeat.

The Widnes half-back was the first player to score a try for the Red Devils at their current AJ Bell Stadium home.

Now he is winding down his playing days part-time at the Vikings while preparing to step into coaching, while doing bits of landscape gardening with his brother.

But the former England man, a two time Grand Final winner and Challenge Cup victor with Wigan, still has the desire to show he still has it against last year's Challenge Cup finalists.

Smith said: “It was a snowy one against Castleford. I don’t score many tries and maybe that’s why I did.

“It was a bit cold and a few Cas lads maybe didn’t want to defend and I sneaked through.

“I had some great years at Salford and the club really looked after me. It gave me the chance to play in Super League and I’ll be forever grateful.

“The AJ Bell is just a bit less intimidating than The Willows! It was a real old rugby league ground and they’re missed, you just can’t get the atmosphere in new stadia.

“With the squad we’ve assembled this year, a lot of the lads will want that big test. It’s where the club wants to be.”

Smith, 33, may be part-time but his desire to stay in rugby league after his laying days is very much full-time.

He is spending much of his day studying for his level three coaching badges and is eyeing an assistant’s job in the none too distant future.

He added: “Widnes are really looking after me and I want to coach when I hang the boots up.

“It’s always been something I’ve been interested in and I’m lucky to have worked with some fantastic coaches.

“Hopefully, I’ve still got a couple of years left playing and I know I’m not going to be a head coach straight away. I’m willing to learn and get there in 10 or 15 years’ time.

“And doing landscape gardening has showed me how much I respect rugby league – real life is hard!”

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