James Webster says his recruitment priority for 2015 is to bolster his pack.
The Wildcats were outgunned by St. Helens last Friday night after a similar fate befell them against Huddersfield Giants two weeks previous with Trinity unable to match the sheer size of the packs up against them, with Webster admitting consistently matching powerful packs during the course of the last three seasons has been the Wildcats undoing.
With that in mind, Webster is targeting his recruitment in that area and has already secured explosive prop Mickael Simon from Catalans Dragons while both Scott Anderson, Nick Scruton and Daniel Smith have all extended their contracts into 2015 and beyond.
Matty Ashurst will provide another back-row option with Danny Washbrook also signing a new one-year deal. Whilst Webster will again be working under a tight budget which will result in a relatively small squad, he says beefing up his pack is his top priority.
“It’ll be 25 or 26 (man squad) and that will include two 17-year olds. It’s a small squad but we had to spend some money in our forwards next year and that’s our major objective next year, to try and be a bit bigger and more powerful next season.
“We’d have loved to have kept Richie (Mathers) but we have to spend our money elsewhere. We’re trying to spend our money becoming bigger and stronger in the middle of the pitch and we’ve got a couple of offers out on people and we’re just waiting to hear back.
“On our budget, you can’t have it both ways. It’s impossible to strengthen one area without trying to manufacture something else and that’s just the situation we’re at.
“We’ll probably leave some money for one in that we still need some people. We’ve got some offers out and if they come back with a yes then we’ll be pretty much finished.”
Trinity have used six loan players at various stages through 2014 to boost the often threadbare squad but Webster does not expect the club to go to similar lengths for 2015.
He says a major contributing factor to any new recruits is money coming into the club from areas such as season tickets, which will go on sale from September 1st.
Given the clubs financial issues over recent years, Webster says it is imperative to work within a budget and only extra revenue from one of the clubs most important income streams will allow him to spend more on his squad.
“We’re not going to rely heavily on loan players,” he said. “You get a massive financial advantage through loans.
“But should season ticket sales go well then maybe we can add to the squad later on. But until we know how much money people are willing to spend from outside and how many season ticket holders we get, that might change during the season. We’ve got a budget to stick to and it’s important for the club that for once we don’t go past that.”
2015 season tickets again provide the best value way to support the club and, as referred to by Webster, will play a major part in determining the budget he has to work with for next season’s squad.
Supporters can spread the cost of their season ticket over six monthly installments, perfect for helping individuals and families to budget.
Full details on season tickets can be found HERE.