Danny Kirmond believes the Wildcats end of season form has ensured the squad will go into pre-season in a positive frame of mind.
Trinity won five and drew one of their final 12 games, recording victories over Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos as James Webster’s men threatened to gatecrash the play-off party.
With the primary objective of Super League survival secured, Kirmond was one of a number of senior players to go under the knife before the end of the campaign to enable the Trinity boss to have a fully fit squad at his disposal for the start of pre-season.
The threadbare nature of the squad come the end of the campaign as a consequence eventually took its toll but despite finishing the season with two defeats, there is optimism among fans and players alike ahead of 2015.
The Wildcats captain believes that feel good factor will carry into pre-season and is enthused at the prospect of starting preparations with a fully fit squad.
“We achieved our major goal which was to avoid relegation and did it quite comfortably in the end,” reflected Kirmond on 2014.
“If you look back, it’s a season that was nearly a really good season. We were close to the play-offs and I know we ended up finishing twelfth but we could easily have finshed eighth if you look at a couple of results that didn’t go our way. We weren’t too far away and there’s some strong signings coming in so I’m really looking forward to next year.
“It leaves us in a lot better position. Once Super League status was secured the club has done a great job in making early signings which we weren’t able to do last year. It meant pre-season was really disrupted.
“This year we’re going to be going in there with a pretty much full squad ready to go and hit the ground running. Everyone’s had their little injuries that needed repairing, repaired and everyone’s going to be pretty much fit and ready to go at the start of pre-season which gives us a massive advantage over what happened last year.
“The second half of the season leaves us with a really positive mindset coming into a new pre-season. Everyone’s going to be excited to come back in. People have played well in the back half of the year and Webbo’s done a great job since coming in as well so I’m sure everyone will be looking forward to coming back.”
It’s a busy off season for Kirmond which has already seen two finger operations, a knee operation and will see the skipper tie the knot in Greece at the start of October, coincidentally on the same day as vice-captain Paul McShane.
When Kirmond, McShane and the rest of the squad return to begin 2015 preparations they will be joined by new recruits Craig Hall, Matty Ashurst, Mickael Simon and Lopini Paea, whilst Chris Riley will be part of the squad on a permanent basis after his loan spell.
The new acquisitions combined with the encouraging second half of the year has seen a strong start to season ticket sales, something that James Webster has gone on record to say will directly influence any further additions.
The captain paid tribute to the red, white and blue faithful for their loyal support and thanked those who have already committed for 2015.
“The one thing about us is that we are a real community club,” explained Kirmond. “It’s an old school ground and it’s got that old school atmosphere. That’s really nice and it feels like we’re one big family. It’s great when the fans get down here and make some noise. The more season tickets we sell then the better the squad we’re going to be running with.
"That’s credit to everyone who does buy them early and credit to everyone who has turned up this year. There have been tough times this year but a lot of people have really stood by us.”
You can join those who have already bought by signing up for your season ticket today. A season ticket guarantees you entry to a minimum of 14 home games and under the new structure, the possibility of a 15th game. You can purchase outright or sign up for a six-month payment plan and not pay a penny until December.
Sign up online (payment plan not available online), visit our Ridings Centre store, the Rapid Solicitors Stadium box office or call 01924 201548/211611.