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The Phantom Horseman

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The Phantom Horseman last won the day on January 5

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  1. I don't know about other teams' spends but I agree that we have done pretty well on our budget. We've managed to retain/recruit a core of really good players (Aekins, Jones, Springer, Gale, Minikin, Bussey and one or two others) and padded out the squad with some cast-offs/additions from League 1, the amateur game and academies. Remains to be seen how far that takes us but given the turnover of players we've done ok to get where we are I think.
  2. We were "rumoured" (FWIW) to be around the £900k mark last year - Martin Vickers said in an interview that we were around £1 million over each of the last two years, though that may include players who came and went as the season went on - and he said the budget this year was slashed by 50%.
  3. Must admit I didn't know clubs had any say in who gets selected but it would make sense given the BBCs' chosen game (Swinton v Sheffield) is kicking off at 12.30pm on the Saturday...that really wouldn't help attendance.
  4. It's not a rumour as it came from the club's owner himself. https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/wakefield-trinity-owner-matt-ellis-provides-recruitment-latest-as-he-outlines-marquee-ambition-4441876 He said they were at £1.3 million and they've signed Isaiah Vagana since then. Of course that won't be all on player salaries but there's no doubt they have dwarfed the rest of the league in terms of spending.
  5. Not on a permanent basis for me, but I think he can do a job for us as a stopgap, especially as Jones has said he likes playing 80 minutes. I'd rather we found someone who was the right player rather than rush into signing someone who might not be good enough at the business end of the season. Obviously it's a balancing act as we don't want to get too far adrift in the play-off race in the first half of the season.
  6. Some interesting names put forward, for me I would be looking more at someone younger from the 2nd tier in Aus if there's anyone suitable available given we're in rebuild mode. Rumour was we tried to attract Laybutt a couple of years ago but it sounds for whatever reason as if we got knocked back, we probably aren't in as good a position financially to make him an attractive offer now. Same comments apply to Jacks and he has a young family so I doubt he'd want to uproot them to England again. Am not sure Fordy is Dean's biggest fan, they had a bit of a fall out at York IIRC and it wasn't Ford who recruited him fro Fev last season, I'd be surprised if he returned. I'd hope we're keeping an eye on NRL cuts and perhaps waiting for an opportunity to sign a hungry, youngish half with a bit to prove.
  7. That last bit isn't correct. Astley only started for Fev twice and played once off the bench. He went ok in a couple of wide-margin wins over Whitehaven and Swinton and then struggled when Fev lost at Halifax and was not selected again. That said, I think you're probably right about half back being his position.
  8. Hmm, 2 years ago we spent second most, and finished second in the league, miles clear of the rest. Last year we spent most (though nowhere near 3 times as much as others) and topped the league, 12 points clear of the rest. Of course, we flopped twice in the play-offs, but let's not pretend that money doesn't talk over a reasonable sample size.
  9. All we ask is that we have a proper dig, and I'm sure we will. I've seen a few of Wakefield's warm-up game and in terms of size, line speed and attacking shape they look some way ahead of any other Championship team I've seen this season, but you'd expect that when they've spent 3 times as much as anyone else and are full time too. To put the task in context, a hooker they released at the end of last season will probably be our starting half back. The Cup's designed for shocks though, so who knows.
  10. Just been announced. Sunday 10th March, 3pm kick off, live on The Sportsman - basically that means watch it via their YouTube channel.
  11. I can still remember Salford's regular backline from the early 1970s without having to look it up. Paul Charlton at full back, Keith Fielding & Maurice Richards on the wings, Watkins and Chris Hesketh at centre, Kenny Gill and Peter Banner as half backs. You'd think they'd be happy with that, but then they swiped Nashy off us!
  12. After a sticky first 20 minutes we were pretty good against Keighley considering we've lost our main playmaker. I do think Keighley had probably given their all in their local derby against Bradford a week early as after that first 20 minutes or so their contact in the tackle became very poor and their play didn't have much intensity. Was great to see Bussey make such a rousing return, Fordy said in his post-game interview that he "just got a bit of tightness" (presumably in his calf), same with Tanner who he also said got a bit of tightness, he said both were just precautionary and that with a blank week next weekend he'll manage their workload as appropriate. On the downside he said Yei was "working hard at his rehab, but still some distance away from being available for selection." On Albert he sounded optimistic and said "he's going to fly here soon" and that he was looking forward to him increasing our firepower but didn't give a timeline. Bowes went ok at half back against limited opposition, we all know he's not the long-term answer at that position but we're probably going to have to try and muddle through until we can locate a good recognised half back. It was short odds that Fordy would use the word "adversity" in his post-game interview and I think he managed it in the first sentence, this is what good coaches do, use a setback to rally the team spirit, and I'm sure we'll hear that word a lot from him in forthcoming interviews. We've now had three examples of the fact that we have too much firepower for lower-league opposition but from now in it will be Championship-quality teams all the way and we face a very tough next few weeks with Wakefield (twice) and Bradford at home, and Batley away. I really don't think our season will be defined by those games and it's unclear yet where we are in the Championship pecking order...we've already lost at Batley with Reynolds in the line-up and we will need to improve both on that performance and the pre-season one against Bradford if we are going to get anything out of those two games...but again I think the first half of the season is about trying to stay in contention and steadily improve to launch a late-season challenge.
  13. That's the one! From memory I think he kicked a penalty from inside his own half towards the railway end and I remember marvelling at it because none of the previous kickers I'd seen at Fev really had the leg to attempt those kind of kicks.
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