Captain Danny Kirmond says Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are desperate to repay the faith of the club’s loyal fans and sign off the season with victory over derby foes Castleford Tigers on Sunday (kick-off 3.30pm).
The club faces a close season of uncertainty with chairman Michael Carter revealing £400,000 needs to be invested or more players will follow Tim Smith, who will be unveiled as a Salford City Reds player tomorrow, out of the exit door to raise funds.
Kirmond says the news has understandably had an impact on the squad but the ’Cats skipper, who has led by example throughout a superb personal season, says the players want to give what is set to be a bumper Rapid Solicitors Stadium crowd something to cheer about in a time of worry.
“Sunday’s game is really important to finish on a high, it’s going to be a very long October and November if we don’t,” he said.
“We want to finish on a high for the fans because they’ve really backed us this season and I think we’ve had some of the biggest crowds supporting us for some time.
“After six defeats it’s time for us to repay their faith and give them something to cheer about after some poor performances lately.”
Kirmond, who recently penned a new deal with Wakefield but is expected to be a target of other Super League clubs over the off-season, hopes Smith’s departure is a one-off but knows there is a good chance the club’s other top players could be on their way.
It means Sunday’s derby clash could be the last time many of Wakefield’s squad play together in the red, white and blue and Kirmond hopes that pulls the squad together.
“It’s about us as players as well because it might be the last time we all play together,” he said.
“That’s something we’ve had a chat about this week. Hopefully it won’t be but even with the cash problems to one side a new season usually brings changes so we want to finish on a high.”
One of the biggest crowds of the season is expected at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium this week for the final match of the campaign and Kirmond says the club needs the supporters more than ever over the coming months.
“The club needs investment but if fans come and buy season tickets and buy shirts then that really does help,” he said.
“It sounds a bit corny but that’s what the club needs right now. The fans have been brilliant with us, especially this season and now the club needs them more than ever.”
See Friday’s Express for Danny Kirmond’s column in full.