HEAD coach Scott Naylor believes the signing of several experienced campaigners will not only give Roughyeds more composure in tight games next season but will enable them to be more consistent from one game to the next.
By bringing back Danny Grimshaw and recruiting Richie Hawkyard and Scott Law, Roughyeds currently have four players who are well into their 30s — the new guys plus Paul Crook, who will be doubling up in the forthcoming season as a player and as a member of the coaching team.
Of those four only front-rower Law is a recognised forward, so the back line will be significantly more street wise with the inclusion of Grimshaw, Hawkyard, Anthony Bowman and Aaron Jones-Bishop.
Of the 21 players contracted so far, other backs in contention will be Dave Hewitt, Jack Holmes, Zack McComb and Kyran Johnson.
Naylor told fans at the recent forum:
“We should be more consistent in the way we perform because of our greater experience.
“I think we’ll have a better chance of winning promotion this year.
“Last season was always a long shot with teams like Bradford Bulls and York City Knights there
“This time we have a lot more experience; more lads who have been round the game for a long time and know what they are doing.
“We lost most of our close games last season, but I expect us to do a lot better in those games this time.
“We need to do well in the Challenge Cup because we desperately need the money that good ties can generate. It’s a financial thing for clubs like ours whereas the new 1895 Cup will give us a realistic chance of going to Wembley.
“That, and promotion, will be the targets for 2019 and I’m more optimistic than last year although we’ll obviously miss forwards like Danny Langtree and Adam Neal.
“We’ve brought in some good lads as replacements (Ben Calland, Scott Law, Emmerson Whittel) and they’ll do a good job.
“I think we’ll definitely be stronger and more experienced in the backs and that should stand us in good stead.”
Scott went on to discuss dual-registration and said it looked like Roughyeds would not have that arrangement in place in 2019. Instead, he would like a squad of 24 or 25 players with a facility to make loan signings if the need arose.
A week is a long time in rugby league, however, and it has since emerged that situation could change early in the New Year.
Scott told the website:
“If it doesn’t happen we’ll have to sign more players. We’ll need dual-reg or another two or three signed on.”