posted on 5 June 2014

James Webster says survival is his minimum requirement from the remainder of the 2014 First Utility Super League campaign.

James Webster addressed the press for the first time in his role as head coach.

Webster was appointed as head coach on Monday having spent two-and-a-half years as assistant Richard Agar who stepped down from his role.

Having fulfilled the role at Hull FC and for the French national team, Webster has his chance at the top job for the first time and at 34 becomes the eleventh youngest Wakefield Trinity head coach of all time.

Chairman Michael Carter has regularly stated that priority number one in 2014 is to avoid relegation and Webster believes the Wildcats are more than capable of that.

“We’re approaching it as a new season for us,” he told the press when addressing them for the first time in his new role.

“We’re roughly halfway through the year and the week off comes at a good time for us to refocus on that.  A question everyone asks is, ‘What are you going to change and bring different from the last person?’

“All I can say is, what I bring different is me and my personality.  It’s the way that I deliver things that will differ to anybody else.  The main thing I decided when they first asked me to take the job was that I wasn’t going to be different just to be different and be somebody I’m not just to appease other people.

“As a coach, the way you get things across and the way you manage people is just as important as what you do out on the field.  I have my own ideas and way of wanting to deliver those changes.

“I don’t think we should shy away from the challenge of every game.  We need to pick some points up, plain and simple.  I’m not looking to try and just finish above the second last team.  Realistically we’ve a chance of catching Salford, Hull FC and a few other teams currently sitting above us and that’s our aim.  Our aim’s not just to survive.

“We have to be realistic, we’re not going to go out and win the competition either.  We need to improve and if we can reach our maximum then I don’t know how far that will take us.”

As a player, Webster represented Balmain Tigers, Parramatta  Eels, Hull KR, Hull FC and Widnes Vikings before hanging up his boots to start his coaching career.

Whilst he admits his chance came sooner than expected, he feels ready to take on the new responsibilities that he is faced with.

“With Rich having two more years to go I didn’t expect it to happen so soon at Wakefield,” he admitted.

“In saying that, I’m very excited its come and feel quite well prepared.  I’ve done five or six years as an assistant coach in Super League so I feel I’ve got a good grounding and am well prepared for what the job will throw at me.

“The demands as a coach are a lot different to what you think they are as a player.  As a player you don’t really understand the demands that go into coaching and when you go into coaching and get a taste of it, some think they want to be a head coach and some don’t.

“The demands as a head coach are obviously a lot greater.  I used to laugh at Rich a little bit that he was so hard to catch hold of.  There are some matters you don’t have to speak to players about as an assistant but you do as a head coach.  There’s a lot of harder conversations you have to have and that’s already been done on certain occasions.

“I understand the transition that has to be made and the responsibilities that brings with it.  It’ll probably take a little bit of time to really get my timings and things right to get everything covered in a week but I’m sure I’ll pick it up pretty quick.”

You can listen to the full press conference on the Wildcats Audioboo channel by clicking HERE.

Webster’s first game in charge will come at home to London Broncos on Friday 13th June with tickets priced at just £10 for adults, £6 concessions and kids for a quid when purchased on or before 5pm on Thursday 12th June.

Buy in our Ridings Centre Store, the Rapid Solicitors Stadium Box Office or call 01924 211611/201548.


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