Wakefield Wildcats under 19’s head coach Stuart Dickens takes his team to his former club Featherstone this evening (kick-off 7.30pm) looking to extend their unbeaten run to three games.
After losing their first two matches, the academy outfit beat London 34-32 in the last minute before gaining a 28-28 draw away at Huddersfield, once again leaving it until the dying seconds to rescue the game.
The Wildcats sit in 7th position in the academy table while tonight opponents Featherstone are 11th having played a game less. Former Rovers man Dickens is looking forward to the fifth game of the campaign at the Big Fellas Stadium.
“The games are coming around really quick and I think it’s good for the lads, the season was a long time coming and now they are looking for consistency in the way they play. The more games we are playing the more chance it gives them to improve and work on things.
“Every game we’ve played in we could have won, unfortunately we lost the first two. Then we got the win down in London and drew with Huddersfield last week and we left both games real late so it shows a fair amount of spirit amongst the boys and a never say die attitude in the fact they have fought right until the last minute.”
Rovers are a club the Trinity coach knows very well after amassing over 400 appearances and he says his former employers have had a mixed start to the season.
“They beat Sheffield then they got beat a couple of times but I’ve been in touch with their coach because we played Hull KR the week after they did but obviously he’s not going to give much away about how they are playing.”
Wakefield boast a large squad for the new under 19s format and Dickens is keen to stress everybody will get their chance to impress throughout the 2013 campaign while explaining how he’s enjoying being the lead coach for the youngsters.
“I said to the lads straight from the beginning I’m new to the club and I’ll pick the team based on how you train in the pre-season. We’ve already picked up a couple of injuries, Will Martin tore his cruciate ligament so he needs a full knee reconstruction and Mat Cook picked up an ankle injury so he’ll be four or five weeks out.
“That means a couple of players have come into the side and one or two have been in or out due to the way we’ve played.
“We will look at every player at some point and I’ve told them if they play well then they’ll keep their shirt as that’s only fair.
“I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s certainly been a bit different. Sitting in the stand and watching the game trying to take everything in and it’s been good that Colin Maskill the assistant is on the touchline and I’ve been getting a bit of help from a couple of the scholarship coaches that have been coming along as well.”
Admission is just £3 for adults at the Big Fellas Stadium while concessions and juniors are £1 so head to Featherstone and cheer on the future Wildcats first team stars as they take on Rovers in the local derby. Kick-off is 7.30pm.
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