Wakefield Trinity Wildcats captain Danny Kirmond says he never really wanted to be anywhere else after deciding to commit his future to the club last week.
Kirmond signed a new two-year extension with the Wildcats to take him through to the end of the 2018 season, becoming the latest high-profile member of Chris Chester’s squad to agree to remain at Belle Vue.
And he told League Express that after an incredible few weeks for the squad, it never really entered his mind to go anywhere else – especially since Chester arrived at the club.
“It was an easy decision to make in the end,” he said.
“It was a tough start to the year, as coming into the final year of a deal is always stressful, and I was wondering what I wanted to do.
“But in the front of my mind I always wanted to stay here and Chris coming in has made my mind up about how much I enjoy being here.
“It’s like the old times, when we had those great runs in the past. The squad is already looking great for next year, with everyone signing extensions, and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
Kirmond has been a key part of the upturn in fortunes at Wakefield since Chester’s arrival, and with the club eyeing a top-eight finish in 2016, the 30-year-old insists Chester has played a key part in their revival.
“He just understands what we needed as a group,” he said.
“He said he’d put a smile back on the faces of everyone and he’s certainly done that.
“Everyone is enjoying working hard for each other, he takes no nonsense and you know that he’ll be on your case – but he’s not too heavy with us. It’s a perfect balance. He’s getting the best out of everyone for sure.”
And Kirmond admits that staving off a second consecutive year in the Qualifiers would be huge for the Wildcats, although he is refusing to get carried away.
“It’s still going to be tough, and we know there’s a long way to go. The teams underneath us will be pushing hard because some of them wouldn’t have envisaged being there.
“We’re looking up, though, not over our shoulder; we don’t want to scrape into the top eight, we want to feel like we deserved to be there.
“It’d be a massive achievement. The club always talks about improving year-on-year and it wouldn’t have taken much to do that this year, but that wasn’t good enough for us.”
This article originally appeared in League Express. Buy your copy every Monday for the latest Super League news, crammed with exclusive stories, feature interviews and much more.