Why Ed Battye is backing Wakefield Trinity’s new coaching duo to spark upturn

ED BATTYE believes new coaching duo Mark Applegarth and James Ford can get Wakefield Trinity firing on a more consistent basis.

Patchy form has been a problem for Super League’s renowned survivors, who last season staved off relegation by winning five of their last seven matches.

That was after only five victories in the previous 20 league outings – and those came in bursts of three, then two, in succession.

“We know we’re capable of knocking over any side on our day,” said the popular former London Broncos prop, who is going into his third full season with Trinity after a loan spell when the capital club’s 2020 campaign ended early due to Covid.

“But we also know we’ve been guilty of blowing hot and cold, winning matches in fits and starts. We need to get that sorted and make sure we do ourselves justice more often than not.”

Long-serving Applegarth, known to many as ‘Mash’, stepped up from an assistant’s role after the departure of Wille Poching and his right-hand man Francis Cummins in September.

Ford came on board in October after eight seasons in charge of York.

“They’re a good combination who bounce off each other, and they’re putting across their ideas well,” added Battye.

“That’s not really a surprise, because I’ve knew Fordy for a while and Mash was in the coaching system when I first joined Wakefield, and the pair of them are good operators.

“Mash has always had a lot of respect from the lads, and I remember Fordy as a Sheffield player (he was with the Eagles from 2005 until 2008) when I was just a young pup coming through the development ranks.”

Wakefield wind up their pre-season fixtures when Hull FC visit on Sunday (the sides will contest the David Topliss Memorial Trophy).

Then it’s all systems go for the big Super League round-one home clash with Catalans Dragons on Friday, February 17.

Meanwhile former Trinity duo Jack Croft and Isaac Shaw are reportedly set to join overseas clubs – Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Australia and Villeneuve in France respectively.

The Seagulls are the Queensland Cup feeder team for Brisbane Broncos.