Bringing ‘quality people’ into the club is a priority for Wakefield Trinity
BRINGING “quality people” into the playing and coaching group has become a priority for Wakefield Trinity during their preparations for the 2021 campaign.
Trinity kick off their Super League season against West Yorkshire rivals Leeds Rhinos on March 27, aiming to bounce back after a disappointing couple of seasons.
They have added two new assistant coaches in Andy Last and Willie Poching while also signing half-back Mason Lino and forward Eddie Battye on permanent deals.
Chief executive Michael Carter feels they bring important skills to the coaching staff and playing squad respectively, but is just as concerned by the manner of people that are coming into the club.
“I think we have set our stall out over the last year that we want people to improve the environment at the club,” said Carter.
“Not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well.
“Bringing Andy Last and Willie Poching in as coaches and Mason Lino and Eddie Battye; we are introducing quality people to the club.
“We are delighted Eddie is with us. I think he has proven himself in his spell with London and certainly in his spell with us, at the back end of last year, that he can play Super League.
“He can play big minutes. You are looking at a different game with the six-agains, no scrums and things like that and I think Eddie Battye has showed he is a Super League player.”
Battye is the latest player to join Chris Chester’s side, and Wakefield are happy to remain patient before further strengthening.
Chester revealed last week that options could appear within weeks of the NRL season getting underway, as players frustrated with a lack of game time might look to move abroad.
Carter continued: “I think before Eddie joined us, I was relatively comfortable with where we were.
“We were always mindful we would like to bring in another middle and we have done that now.
“We don’t stop looking. If there is a quality person that is available, then we will look to see what we can and can’t do.
“Obviously, there is a lot of balancing, with Covid and finances, but we will do our utmost to keep introducing quality people into this club.”
Wakefield played more games than any other Super League side during the 2020 regular season but slumped to a 10th-placed finish.
In 2019, they were locked in a dramatic relegation battle until the final game of the season.
Some have tipped Trinity to get relegated in 2021 but Carter insists that is only added motivation.
“It does motivate me to make sure we are the best we can be both on and off the field,” he added.
“We saw a team in the last six games of the season who had started to get some belief back and string some victories together. I think we are in a far better position squad wise and coaching wise than at the back end of last season.
“I am really looking forward to the season ahead. There are still a lot of difficulties ahead but like last year we will face every challenge head on.
“As a group, culturally and playing wise, we are in a far better position than we were eight to nine months ago.”