This article was originally published in League Express. Get stories like this first every week by purchasing the online edition every Sunday evening at totalrl.com/le, or alternatively buy in stores every Monday.
Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin says he will always take pride in the emergence of local youngsters following in his footsteps and making their mark in the first team.
But he has warned Super League there is “no partying” behind closed doors at Wigan, despite a perfect start to 2017 with four wins out of four.
The newly-crowned world champions preserved their unbeaten record with a 38-16 win at Warrington on Thursday night.
That victory saw a number of the club’s younger players come in to plug Wigan’s increasing injury problems, with winger Liam Marshall scoring four tries.
“I don’t think I’ll ever stop being proud when I see young Wigan lads debuting for this club,” O’Loughlin told League Express.
“It’s incredible. As I’m getting older, I see these lads come from the scholarship and out of school, and you see them develop all the way through, coach them a bit, and then come into the first team and step out onto the field alongside you.
“It’s a very special buzz because you know how much it means to them. I think all the lads are proud to see them do it but as captain, yeah, I love it.”
Marshall is one of five current Wigan players – including O’Loughlin – whose father also played for the first team, and the Warriors captain praised the impact Marshall, the former trainee accountant, has made so far.
“He was great on debut against Leigh and he was brilliant against Warrington. If you’re from Wigan you’re a Wigan supporter, so to see those boys come through and play is special.”
Wigan now host Huddersfield on Sunday as they look to make it five wins from five, and O’Loughlin said while he knows they are there to be shot at, nobody is getting carried away just yet.
“We had a pretty decent start last year then got a few injuries and we fell off a little. We’re not getting carried away; it’s great to be unbeaten so far but there’s no partying just yet.
“The more games you win and the better the record is the higher on the pedestal you get, I guess. Teams will want to be the first to knock us off won’t they, but if we concentrate on what we do well then we’ll keep getting results.”