Lee Greenwood has big dreams for Dewsbury

Lee Greenwood knew the enormity of the job at hand when he took on the role as Dewsbury Rams head coach.

With a minuscule budget compared to their rivals, a part-time squad and modest training facilities, the Rams are small players in an ever-growing competition.

But Greenwood wouldn’t want it any other way.

The former England winger is a visionary, a man who thrives on building long-term projects and bringing them to fruition.

His two most notable roles during his coaching career have been at expansion club Gloucestershire All Golds and as the co-founder of Halifax Elite Rugby Academy, an independent rugby school that provides full-time training and education for aspiring Rugby League athletes.

Greenwood has built things from the ground up. In that sense, taking on the role at Dewsbury should be simple.

But Greenwood isn’t content with consolidation. For the former Halifax, London and Huddersfield speedster, his goal is to take the club through an evolution.

“When you join a club that’s ready-made you have to fit into what’s already there,” he said.

“I’m not sure how much I’d be able to do that. I like to do a lot of things behind the scenes as well as on the pitch to help a club out.

“I probably wouldn’t have come in if it wasn’t like this. I’m not a coach coming in for one season to go somewhere else, I want to come in and build a proper place for years to come. It won’t happen straight away.

“What we’re trying to do is set a club up that players want to come into so they can progress, not so they can tick a box and be happy with where they’re at.

“That’s been said to the players that are here. It will suit players who want to come in and step up a level or progress with the club.

“If players don’t fancy that, they won’t be there for long.

“We’ve done some stuff behind the scenes, getting a base of where we want to take it. We’ve just a lot of work to do personnel-wise.”

Despite having his long-term vision for the club in the periphery of his mind, there have been ongoing short-term problems.

“The club had signed a number of the squad from last year plus a few new guys and used a lot of the budget to do it,” Greenwood said.

“It left us definitely short of numbers, but due to the timing, a lot of players were all signed up. We were left shopping in a supermarket of clubs for lads that nobody wanted or from the division below.”

As a result, Greenwood will be relying on his other key skill, developing talent, to guide the Rams through a successful season.

“We’ve got a lot in from various places, some will pay off and some won’t. Going forward when we’re recruiting for next year I’m sure we’ll be a lot better for that.

“I’m happy to bring in projects and give them a chance. You know the success rate won’t be 100%, but we’ll give them the opportunity, as we’ve done in pre-season.

“Some will thrive, just maybe not yet. Whether that is at Dewsbury or not we’ll have to see. Even though I say recruitment will be better next year, I’d still take some projects on, maybe just three or four, unlike this year where maybe 50% are in that category.

“I don’t mind giving people a chance, I don’t want a squad of ready-made players, I want to shape them into good quality players, I get a lot more joy out of that.”