Danny Brough is the “final piece of the jigsaw” for Wakefield Trinity, according to head coach Chris Chester.
The half-back returned to Belle Vue earlier this month after a nine-year stint with Huddersfield Giants.
Wakefield have been on the cusp of the Super League play-offs for the last two seasons, finishing in fifth spot in 2017 and 2018.
But Chester - who signed a new three-year contract last week - feels that Brough’s arrival can take Trinity to the next level.
“We have added some quality every single year,” said Chester.
“A lot of credit has to go to Michael [Carter] and the rest of the board for supplying the extra funds year on year, to help build what we think is a very strong and competitive squad.
“I think the Danny Brough signing is the final piece of the jigsaw. It is something we have been missing.”
Chester insists that Wakefield now have one of their strongest-ever squads in the modern era heading into the 2019 campaign.
Trinity have also recruited Ben Reynolds, Craig Kopczak and George King, as well as maintaining the vast majority of their squad from last season.
“I am still having nightmares regarding squad numbers, I still haven’t thought about my starting 17 for the beginning of the season,” added Chester.
“We will cross that bridge when it comes to it, in terms of the selection.
“But it is a nice headache to have. I remember the Challenge Cup semi-final in 2016, I only had 16 players to choose from and I had to pick someone who was injured to help us out that day.
“It is a different picture now than it was in 2016, and we have genuinely got competition in every single spot.
“Danny Brough gives us some competition in the halves, which is something we have been lacking over the years.”
As well as targeting a place in the 2019 Super League play-offs, Chester is keen for Trinity to go far in the Challenge Cup.
The Wakefield boss admitted that his side shifted their focus from the illustrious competition in 2018 to make sure of their place in Super League’s top eight.
But with new additions and plenty of positivity surrounding the squad, Chester sees no reason why Wakefield can’t make it to Wembley next summer.
He added: “We want to put a real focus on the Challenge Cup. Last season we shifted that focus to make sure we survived in Super League.
“We had a taste of that [success in the Challenge Cup] in 2016 with a good quality Challenge Cup run.
“Finishing in that top eight means that we play one game less than the teams underneath us, so we have got a real chance of reaching the semi-final. It is only two wins.
“There are lots of improvements that we need to make.
“We will keep on improving year on year and we feel that we have a stronger squad now than we did last year.
“We feel we are a lot further on from where we were this time last year as well.
“The signings that we have made have gave everybody a big boost and you can tell in training the competitiveness that people like Danny Brough bring out in the rest of the guys.”