Chris Chester hopes Wakefield stalwart Matty Ashurst will be the first of a string of names tied down to new Trinity deals – and that list could include the coach himself.
Loose-forward Joe Westerman is heading to neighbours Castleford next season, but his fellow packman Ashurst is staying put.
And the 31-year-old second rower, who signed from Salford in 2015, celebrated his two-year contract extension with a try in Thursday’s 14-6 home Super League win over Wigan.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my seven seasons here at the club and couldn’t imagine playing anywhere else now,” said Ashurst, who started out at St Helens.
“For me it was a no-brainer to extend and to continue the journey. The club know me and I know them. Now I want to kick on and continue to do my best for the team.”
Chester said: “I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s been a brilliant player for Wakefield Trinity and will continue to be.
“He’s a real calming influence for us on that left edge and has a really good understanding with the other guys that play around him.”
Chester, who has been at the helm since March 2016, is out of contract at the end of this season.
And while he says he’s comfortable with that position, the former Hull KR coach admits the uncertainty didn’t help when the club tried to retain Westerman.
Chester revealed that Trinity offered Westerman more money to stay, but that he understands the player’s decision.
“It’s really disappointing, and the lure of going back to Castleford has obviously played a big part,” he said.
“My situation was that I couldn’t give him an answer about what’s going on with me.
“The kid has done what’s best for him and his family, it’s his hometown club, all his family are Castleford fans and we wish him well.
“Speaking to Joe, he’s going to do everything for us and give everything for this club like has for the previous couple of years.”
On his own situation, Chester explained: “I’m hopeful that something will get sorted one way or the other.
“I’ve said a couple of times before that I’m quite comfortable with the position I find myself in.
“We’ve had a couple of really brief discussions, mainly about recruitment and the strategy moving forward.
“The biggest thing is in terms of the Sky deal – we still don’t know what the distribution is going to be to clubs and it’s very difficult to recruit when you work to a budget.
“We’ve got to be really smart with our money and recruitment.
“I’ve spoken to everybody at board level over the last couple of weeks, and fingers crossed we can get some names signed up over the next couple of weeks.”
Meanwhile West Yorkshire Police have said they will take no action over allegations about the sale of Trinity’s Belle Vue stadium, which the club bought for £3 million in 2019.
There were allegations of impropriety, not aimed at Trinity, in connection with the sale of the land.
“West Yorkshire Police has concluded its review of information received. No investigation has commenced as a result of that review,” said a Police statement.
Trinity are hoping to be told this week that they will receive planning permission for a redevelopment of the stadium’s east stand.
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