Michael Carter on current state of Wakefield Trinity recruitment

Wakefield Trinity chief executive Michael Carter says “hard work” is needed over the close-season to build a squad capable of avoiding yet another survival scrap.

There were real fears of a drop into the second tier when Willie Poching’s side hit rock-bottom of the table after losing at Hull KR in round 19.

But a sweet 32-6 derby win at Castleford two matches later lifted Wakefield back above Toulouse – and after a narrow home defeat by Catalans, four straight wins hoisted Trinity to tenth ahead of their final game away to Huddersfield.

Now a string of players – including skipper Jacob Miller, who has been linked with Castleford, highly-rated Hull KR-bound forward James Batchelor and popular prop David Fifita – are departing.

“The big disadvantage for any club faced with (the chance of) relegation is retention and recruitment for the following season,” said Carter.

“It means we are going to have to be very smart this off-season.

“Players quite rightly want to secure their futures as soon as possible, and a lot of those leaving tied contracts up in May when we were in no position to offer Super League deals that would stand up.

“I believe there will be opportunities amongst this though, especially from the World Cup.”

Carter continued: “The climate is also very challenging for all concerned and especially fans regarding the cost of living.

“While we had to live with a half-million reduction in broadcast monies per club on the eve of the season, gate receipts reduced by nearly 20 percent and merchandise revenues are down 33 percent since pre-Covid.”

Carter confirmed Wakefield want to seal a permanent deal for Hull fullback Jamie Shaul, who has been on loan.

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