It might be evolution rather than revolution, but Liam Kay says there’s no doubt coach Willie Poching is putting his own stamp on Wakefield Trinity this pre-season.
Poching is building towards his first full campaign in charge after taking the reins following Chris Chester’s August departure.
Having arrived as an assistant to Chester 14 months ago, he led Wakefield to five wins in their last seven Super League games this year.
That helped him secure the job on a permanent basis, and with Andy Last leaving to work with his old Hull colleague Lee Radford at Castleford, Poching has recruited Francis Cummins as his new right-hand man.
He’s also made six new signings in backs Lee Gaskell, Corey Hall and Tom Lineham and forwards Sadiq Adebiyi, Liam Hood and Jai Whitbread, with the possibility of a seventh in Thomas Minns.
The 27-year-old former Leeds and Hull KR threequarter has been offered a possible return to Super League after two years at Featherstone.
He had signed a deal at Newcastle, but has found travelling to the north-east problematic, and after discussions with Thunder chiefs, he left and joined Wakefield on trial.
“We’ve got a new coach, but not in the usual sense, because the lads already here knew Willie,” explained the versatile Kay, who will make hooker his priority position next year after making his name as a winger.
“I think that has helped with the transition, because he knows us and we’re used to his methods and what he wants from his players.
“There have been some tweaks for sure, and Willie has his own ideas about how he wants us to play, but they are not fundamental changes.”
Having secured last-match survival in 2019, then finished second-bottom and third-bottom, Kay accepts Trinity must improve in 2022.
“We need to kick on from the end of last season and strive for success, and I think we have a squad capable of being competitive and getting Wakefield back to where they were four or five years ago,” he added.
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