Countdown to Super League XVII: Elston calls for realistic aims for Wakefield Wildcats in 2012

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats stay in Superleague.'James Elston: Chief Executive.'w5883h130
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats stay in Superleague.'James Elston: Chief Executive.'w5883h130

CHIEF Executive James Elston says Wakefield Trinity Wildcats fans need to be realistic about the club’s aims in Super League XVII.

Excitement is building at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium ahead of the new season, which kicks-off on Friday when Wakefield visit Widnes Vikings, with Richard Agar’s new-look Wildcats squad targeting an improvement on last year’s campaign.

Agar’s men will aim for an opening day victory at the Stobart Stadium but Elston believes the big squad changes over the close season may mean Wildcats take time to get up to full speed in 2012.

“We’d love to get off to a great start but there’s got to be a realism about what we do this year,” he told Express Sport.

“When you sign four new players it can take time for them to settle in, when you sign seventeen or eighteen new players then it’s going to be something that takes time.

“If we put too much pressure on the boys to perform then that’ll have an impact so we really need to keep our expectations where they are. If we can improve on what we did last year and give our supporters a performance that they can go home and be proud of then that’s job done, that’s what we’re here to do.”

Just a year ago off-the-field problems were hindering Wakefield’s start to their 2011 Super League campaign.

Administration, a change of owners and the potential of playing Co-operative Championship rugby league this year made it a difficult time for all involved at Belle Vue.

Twelve months on and things are much brighter at the club and Elston insists it’s now a “fantastic” place to be.

“Things are different in a good way,” he said.

“We’ve built a new side and they’re bonding really well. You’ve seen the boys and they do really get on well. Richard’s [Agar] done really well in pre-season, and a short pre-season when you think Paul Aiton did’t arrive until after Christmas. You’re talking about key pivotal players, Isaac John and Tim Smith didn’t come until the end of November so we haven’t had long. We’ve had a month when you normally have probably two months and the season’s a couple of weeks earlier than it usually is so we’ll see how they go, we’ve got to be realistic and patient with them.”

See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport for a full Wakefield Wildcats preview ahead of Super League XVII.