FEATHERSTONE ROVERS are ‘a sleeping giant’ that are ‘ticking all the boxes’ for Super League, according to their new head coach Sean Long.
Formerly an assistant at the Leeds Rhinos, Long has taken his first head coaching role with Super League hopefuls Featherstone.
And it’s fair to say that the ex-Super League halfback is loving what he is seeing from the club – both on and off the field ahead of what promises to be an interesting year under the new stakeholders of rugby league, IMG.
“When I got the call off Mark Campbell to be the coach I snapped his hand off,” Long told League Express.
“It’s been really good and I think I was ready for it if I’m being honest. I’ve been ready for a number of years and it’s such a big, high profile club. It’s a sleeping giant.
“What I’ve seen, we are doing everything we can on the field regarding the players but a lot of the stuff we already have in place off the field.
“We’ve got a great facility, we’ve got two pitches, a brilliant set up in the gym. We do a lot of stuff inside because of the cold so we’ve got a massive wrestle area where we do our skills.
“We’ve got a women’s team, we are ticking all the boxes. We are going in the right direction.”
In terms of building the team around him, Long has appointed Leon Pryce as assistant coach alongside Ian Hardman whilst Rovers’ owners continue to back their new head coach – much to Long’s thanks.
“He’s been brilliant, me and Leon go way back, we played together at St Helens and I had the best years of my life as a player with Leon,” Long continued.
“To get him as assistant coach is really good for us, he’s very smart and intelligent. We are are on the same page so we bounce ideas off each other whether it’s in attack or in defence.
“We have a good bond and we are good mates. We have a laugh and that’s what you need. It’s rubbing off on the players too.
“Leon is playing his part, but we’ve got a great backroom staff with Ian Hardman, and everyone pulling together. The owners have really helped me out and provided the things we have needed.
“When it’s cold they have provided 3G pitches, they’ve gone out their way for us in any way they can.”
Long also had a special message for the Featherstone fans.
“As well as that, the fans have been really good with me, they’ve been outstanding and if they can see that we are working hard in training and in games I think they will be happy if we win lose or draw.”