THE CONTROVERSIAL dual-registration system is making life difficult for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Coach Richard Agar is concerned about how his fringe players or ones returning from injury will gain game time next year.
Wildcats had a dual-registration partnership with Kingstone Press Championship club Doncaster last season, but that was dissolved after the two coaches fell out.
Dual-registration allows players from Super League clubs to join lower division outfits at short notice.
With under-20s reserve sides being axed and Wakefield not having a partner club, Agar’s only option is to send players out on loan – but such deals are subject to an initial one-month minimum term.
“One of the problems we’ve got is we don’t have a dual-reg team,” Agar said ahead of tomorrow’s pre-season game at Featherstone Rovers.
“We thought we had one, but at the last minute we were let down. We have got to look at our squad and we’ve got to try and find a number of guys some football.
“Loaning them out rules them out for a month and with a relatively light squad it is a real hindrance.
“It is difficult trying to find a team that is geographically suitable and I think it (dual-registration) has caused nothing but trouble for the majority of Super League and Championship clubs.”
Agar said the likely reintroduction of promotion and relegation will raise “questions of integrity” and he added: “It stops players playing the game.
“Only a very, very small minority of people are happy with it.”
Agar will get a second look at his squad tomorrow, following the 18-18 draw at Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day.
“Obviously the biggest thing for us is when will all our players be here,” the coach said.
“We are going into it with maybe eight guys who would have a chance of playing still not here.
“But it gives a good opportunity for the guys who have been in training to put a marker down.”
Agar added: “I’d like to see some progress from the Headingley game.
“It will be a tough contest and there are going to be some rough edges, but I’d like to see some improvement.
“We are happy with where we are at. There’s still six weeks to go before the start of the season, but it’s chance for some guys to make a good early impression.”
Bobbie Goulding, who kicked the equalising penalty against Leeds, retains his place in the squad, but is not yet contracted for 2014.
Agar said: “He is on a month-to-month contract at the moment and we’ll review it at the end of the trial games.
“He is a player we would like to keep, but it is down to finances.”
Agar will give a run-out to academy products Max Jowitt and Jordan Crowther, who have been promoted to the first-team squad.
Featherstone Rovers from: Hardman, Sharp, Worthington, Cording, Chisholm, Bussey, G Moore, Crossley, Ellis, Hirst, Lockwood, Spears, James, Flanagan, Nicholson, Dale, Walmsley, Roche, Bennion, Mendeika, Sunley, Ormondroyd.
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats from: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Lyne, Johnstone, Sykes, Wildie, R Moore, McShane, Tautai, Kirmond, Walshaw, Washbrook, Goulding, Trout, Annakin, D Smith, Crowther, Shulver, Jowitt.
Referee: Dave Merrick (Pontefract).
Kick-off: Tomorrow (3pm).