JOHN Kear and his Wakefield Wildcats squad will travel to Catalans Dragons in buoyant mood this weekend following the completion of Andrew Glover’s takeover of the club, writes Nick Rigg.
Wakefield businessman Glover was unveiled as the club’s new chairman on Thursday afternoon and Kear admits the news has put an extra spring in the step of his players ahead of Saturday’s Super League clash in Perpignan (kick-off 6.30pm).
“We’ve had our best training session today that we’ve had for about a month and a half there’s no doubt about that,” said Kear.
“I think a month and a half ago is when all of the players became aware of all the difficulties. I was obviously aware prior to that but you try to shield your players from certain aspects of it.
“It impacts your planning, preparation and recruitment and that’s been lifted from us now and it can be now positive; it’s like the start of the season, there’s the excitement, there’s those butterflies in your stomach and you’re really ready to roll your sleeves up and rip it.”
He continued: “It’ll be great (going to France to play Catalans).
“It’ll be great to go over there and be in a bubble and to be away from all the questioning and speculation from you guys so that we can get over there and really concentrate on the business in hand.
“Hopefully now there’ll be off-field stability and on-field stability and we can start growing and developing as a club and as a team.”
Kear has heaped praise on Wakefield’s current squad following the uncertainty surrounding the club’s future.
Dale Ferguson, Sam Obst and Daryl Millard have all moved away from the Rapid Solicitors Stadium over the last seven days.
But the Wildcats boss has no hard feelings over the moves and has been delighted at the way his squad of players have handled the situation.
“They’ve been great,” he said.
“The performance on the field is obviously what everybody judges them by but when you know what’s been going on off the field you’ve really got to say ‘good on you fellas, you’ve kept your heads down, you’ve kept working hard’; they’ve applied themselves as well as they possibly could.
“When all you hear is rumour, speculation and negativity it wears you down and you’ve sensed that that’s happened to them and that’s why today’s training session has been so good because all of a sudden we’ve gone from the depths of despair into an air of positivity about the place.
“I think we’ve hit the bottom and now we’re rebounding upwards. We’ll be better in round 27 than in round 1 so lets hope we can pick up enough points to be playing after round 27.”
Kear will be hoping the positive vibe around the club is reflected in their performance in Perpignan as Wakefield look for a first win of the Super League season.
Matty Blaymire will be missing for between eight to 12 weeks with a broken hand but Aaron Murphy will be available after Wakefield won an appeal against a two-game ban.
Kevin Penny is also included in the squad for the first time since his close season arrival at the club.
Wakefield’s 19-man squad to face Catalans Dragons: Penny, Murphy, George, Korkidas, Rinaldi, King, Henderson, Morrison, Lee, Johnson, Dean, Gledhill, Mariano, Howarth, Veivers, Davey, Wildie, Hyde, Spiers.
See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest Wakefield Wildcats news.