Wakefield Trinity head coach Chris Chester admits that he has been delighted with the contributions of his two assistant coaches Willie Poching and Andy Last, both of whom joined the club in the close-season.
Poching has joined Trinity from working alongside Tony Smith at Hull Kingston Rovers, while Last arrived from Hull FC, where he had hoped to be offered the head-coaching role before Brett Hodgson was offered the job.
And Chester couldn’t be happier with the fact that both of them are now at Trinity.
“Willie and Andy experienced guys in their own right and they are a breath of fresh air,” Chester told League Express.
“Andy and I played in the same team at Hull in the early 2000s I’ve always kept a close eye on him and spoken quite regularly to him.
“When I learned that he hadn’t got the job at Hull, I made contact with him and it was an easy conversation to have with him. I asked him whether, if anything popped up, he would be interested.
“Budget wise at the time we didn’t have anything, and we didn’t know where we were going to be with Covid.
When I spoke to Michael (Carter, CEO) we discussed the fact that our recruitment is all based around culture and bringing good people into he club. Andy and Willie fit the bill. They are both great guys, with a good work ethic and very knowledgeable about the game. I couldn’t be happier with them.
“As the head coach I want to be hands on and with having two really experienced guys I can delegate a lot more. All three of us have similar philosophies of how we want to play the game.
“Andy is a fantastic guy who works really hard with his planning and is a rugby nerd.
“We get in early on a morning and we have a meeting at 7.30 and we don’t leave the ground most days until 6.00pm.”
Another newcomer who has adapted quickly to the club is halfback Mason Lino, who arrived from the New Zealand Warriors.
“Mason has fitted in really well; he’s going to help ease the burden on Milky (Jacob Miller), who sometimes last season looked like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders with the captaincy.
“Mason is a calm head and an experienced player.”
And good news for Wakefield supporters is the fact that Trinity are going into the new season without any current injury worries.
“We have no injuries and a clean bill of health as things stand,” confirmed Chester.
“We’ve had no operations over the close-season and we have 28 to 30 players in training.
“Milky will be the captain again this season and we’ll put a good leadership group around him, just to take some of the pressure off him.
“And we do have some money left in our budget if players do become available.”
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