WAKEFIELD TRINITY veteran Josh Griffin has sent an ominous warning to his Championship rivals ahead of the 2024 season, insisting that relegation has been “a blessing in disguise” for his new club.
Griffin joined Wakefield towards the back end of last season, registering five appearances as the West Yorkshire side were relegated from Super League.
Since then, however, a new millionaire owner in Matt Ellis has taken over the club with ex-Castleford and Warrington boss Daryl Powell appointed as head coach.
Alongside Powell, former Super League stars Michael Shenton and Danny Kirmond have joined the backroom staff.
And for Griffin, it feels like he is still very much a part of a Super League club.
“It’s been going great, it’s a great club to be a part of at the moment. Relegation has been a bit of a blessing in disguise for us if I’m being honest,” Griffin told League Express.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever worked with Daryl Powell but he has just been great. He’s vastly experienced and has brought in some really good assistants in Michael Shenton and Danny Kirmond.
“It still feels like a Super League club. We are obviously in the Championship but just having those guys in the coaching set-up, it feels like a Super League club and it’s been kept like that.
“I’ve had a conversation a couple of times that it doesn’t feel like we are in the Championship now because we are still full-time, the facilities we have got now and how training has been. It’s been really good.”
Griffin believes that being full-time is key in an environment such as the Championship allows Trinity to concentrate only on rugby league.
“It’s really important being full-time because it puts us right in the front of most Championship teams anyway. The players only have to worry about the club rather than work.
“We haven’t got to go to work, we are instead concentrating around being each other that much that we are a Super League club and we want to keep it that way.
“We’ve got a job to do this year to get us back to where we belong. We’ve been given all the tools to make sure that happens.”
In terms of relegation from Super League at the end of 2023, Griffin has noted how tough it was in the end.
“Relegation was tough. I had a whirlwind last couple of months of the season but it was good to get around the team and try and help them.
“I obviously failed in that but the damage was kind of done before I had got there and we were clinging on anyway. It was tough, it’s not a nice place to be when you’re playing for your Super League career, week in, week out.
“There might have been a little bit of hope every and now then but when it finally happened, it was hard.”
League Express is widely available from local newsagents across the north of England.