New Featherstone Rovers head coach Ryan Carr will have room to add to his 2019 squad, says general manager Davide Longo, after Martyn Ridyard’s return to Leigh Centurions freed up some cap space.
Featherstone announced the 30-year-old as the new coach last week, arriving from New South Wales Cup side Mounties, having also being involved in the academy set-ups at Cronulla Sharks and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The club have recruited impressively ahead of next season, signing PNG trio Thompson Teteh and brother Ase and Watson Boas, Leeds Rhinos stalwart Brett Delaney, while they currently have former Super League duo Jordan Tansey and Ryan Bailey on trial.
Longo insists Carr is satisfied with the recruitment that pre-dates his arrival, following John Duffy’s shock departure to Leigh Centurions, but admitted that he would be given freedom to add his own flavour to the squad with the left over budget.
“Obviously with Ridyard leaving we have some budget space. He’s got a number of players who have signed for 2019 and he’s totally happy with who they are,” said Longo.
“He’s got some budget to work with. It’s not a supermarket though you’ve got to wait for the right players to come available and you’ve got to get the right players for your team.
“I’m sure he’s eyeing up a few players. He’s got a number of them who have put in an expression of interest to him. That’s where he earns his money. He’s looking to strengthen and we’ve got to ensure we make the money available.”
Critics have already spoken of Carr’s age, being only 30, but the club have put their full confidence in the youngster despite his inexperience. That said, the club admitted they rolled the dice to bring him in, but they had little time to play with following Duffy leaving in pre-season.
“He’s good guy and he’s a young coach but he’s got plenty of experience in the NRL. He comes over to Featherstone with a real desire to make an impact,” Longo added. “I don’t think there’s a stigma to his age, he’s got an old head on his shoulders. Of course it’s a risk he’s from overseas, and he has to settle with his family who are coming over in the New Year.
“He’s been around London and France as well so he’s got a bit of experience of being away from Australia which works in his favour. Hopefully by the start of the season he’ll be absorbed in that. We’ve got our fingers crossed he can settle.”