Wildcats boss Richard Agar says securing the services of key players like Danny Kirmond is pivotal to ensuring the club continues to progress on the field.
Kirmond put pen to paper on a two-year extension to his contract that will see him remain at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium until the end of 2016, following on from the likes of Dean Collis and Paul Aiton to commit his future long term to the Trinity cause.
The continuity developing within the squad is a far cry from almost two years ago when 17 new players joined the squad ahead of the 2012 season. Despite that huge upheaval, the Wildcats made the play-offs last year and have ambitions of doing the same this time round.
Agar says ensuring that the Wildcats retain players such as Kirmond is vital to building on the work done in the first two years of his tenure.
“It’s paramount and very much a priority that all the good work we’ve done over the last 18 months, we don’t lose in the short term. Tying down our best and most influential players – and some of our young players too – is very important.
“We’ve got a very strong spirit and sense of togetherness within our group and that runs right through the staff and down the whole squad. We’ve got players we’re getting a lot out of and players who are very happy to be representing this club.
“In the days where players can move quite easily and in a market that’s very player driven, it’s great for us that we can hold onto our best talent because they believe in each other and believe they can achieve what they want out of the game at the club.”
The Wildcats head coach has also been pleased with the progress made by the younger end of the Wildcats squad. The likes of Lucas Walshaw, Kyle Trout and Liam Kay have featured for the first team this season but spent the majority of the campaign on loan and dual registration.
Add to that Bobbie Goulding being named in the 19-man squad to face the Rhinos last week and the youngsters are putting pressure on those in front of them for spots in the squad.
Agar also paid tribute to the contribution of the overseas members of his squad and says he is in regular dialogue with his players as he aims to retain the nucleus of the side.
“We’re constantly talking to our players,” said Agar.
“Looking at the squad as a whole we’re extremely happy with our overseas players and the contingent we’ve got contribute enormously to the club. Keeping our English players in situ, with our quota full and the market the way it is, is vital. Highlighting that a player like Kirmond is ready to commit is good for us.
“We’re starting to bear the fruit 18 months down the line of some of our younger players are really progressing, although some have had to do it via dual reg. We’ve seen improvements in Trouty, Chris Annakin had a good start to the year and we’re looking at blokes like Liam Kay and Danny Cowling who we’re really happy with how they’re going on dual reg. Throw Bobbie Goulding into that and they’re getting ever closer to getting some first team rugby here.”
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