Ottawa Aces head coach Laurent Frayssinous says the club is building a squad for the future as they prepare for their entry into League 1.
The Aces have been working hard to assemble their squad ahead of next year and announced Louis Jouffret as their first-ever signing last week.
Tom Gilmore and Matty Fozard are two other players expected to join the club, with further signings expected to be revealed soon.
Inevitable comparisons will be made to Toronto, who had experienced campaigners such as Ryan Bailey and Fuifui Moimoi in their ranks.
However, with the aforementioned trio having an average age of 25, it signals an apparent change of strategy in comparison to their Canadian peers.
“There will always be comparison with Toronto but we’re not using their model,” Frayssinous said.
“They had a short-term objective to play in Super League. We too want to be promoted in the first year, even if that will be tough. In the Championship we want to spend time there to have the right foundation for when we will be in Super League. All the basics will be done. The facilities, the administration, will be on board for us to be ready for Super League. That could take two years, three years, maybe four, but we have a conversation with Eric Perez about being sustainable when we are ready for Super League.
“So that’s why we want the type of player we are recruiting, the guys who play at the highest level but they come back to a full-time environment, they are hungry and enthusiastic about the project. They want to improve the club every day and every month and every year.
“What we want to do is to keep the squad together for a number of years and we’re confident we will improve them and, in the future, adding one or two or three every year. But we are confident that the nucleus of the squad can take us through for a long time.”
Another element Frayssinous is considering is the addition of several Canadian players, with trials set to take place in October.
“I can’t go over there at the moment, but the plan is to go to Ottawa in October,” he said.
“We plan to do a trial over there, so I intend to go and just make sure I can see the players who wants to come and perform at the trial and chat to them face to face.
“I’ve got some highlights of some players who play American Football and rugby union. They are very powerful and strong and fast athletes.
“The only thing is you need to see them in the Rugby League environment, especially on a game day. But I know it’s possible to transfer some to make good Rugby League players; you just have to be patient with them.”
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