NEW BOSS Ryan Carr is happy with his first impressions of Featherstone Rovers.
The Australian will see his side in action live for the second time when they play host to Leeds Rhinos in their final pre-season game tomorrow.
“I am really happy with the club,” said Carr who arrived in England last week. “It’s a really good club with a great history which I am looking forward to learning a bit more about.
“Coming from Australia you don’t quite realise the heights the club has been at and all the good players who’ve come through here. I am really happy with the squad, they are all great people and I am really looking forward to working with the boys. They are a really good bunch of blokes.”
Carr, 30, came through the ranks at Cronulla Sharks and played for Wests Tigers, South Sydney and in France before injury forced him to hang up his boots. He coached at Cronulla and South Sydney Rabbitohs – where Rhinos boss Dave Furner was assistant-coach – and was most recently in charge of New South Wales Cup side Mount Pritchard Mounties.
Rovers have had a difficult pre-season which began with the dismissal of previous boss John Duffy. Carr had to wait in Australia before receiving his visa and Rovers lost to Castleford Tigers, Dewsbury Rams and Hunslet Club Parkside, but – with their overseas players beginning to arrive – produced a much-improved display in a draw with Betfred Championship rivals Halifax last weekend.
“We have got to work really hard before we get to Bradford [in round one] and time isn‘t on our side,” Carr conceded.
“But in saying that, we’ve got some experienced players joining the squad late.
“It’s not like they are young kids, they’ve been around and hopefully they’ll get up to speed really quickly.
“Like anything, it takes time. We’ve got to be patient as a squad and keep working each week to get better and hopefully those combinations will really start to flourish over the next few weeks.”
Carr reckons Rhinos will provide the sort of test Rovers need. He said: “They are a really good club and Dave [Furner] has a lot of depth over there.
“It will be a good hit out for us. This is our fifth pre-season game which is a lot of footy so we’ve got to be mindful of the boys, who we roll out and how we play that game.
“We want to try and develop some combinations while we can before we get to Bradford and also be mindful of the fact we’ve got Bradford in seven days after that.”
Carr confirmed he has a “really good relationship” with Furner.
“I was a coach at South Sydney when he was a coach there and his brother Don, the CEO of Canberra, had me down there this year,” he said.
“They are a really good family and really good people and I am looking forward to working closely with him.
“I know the clubs have a good relationship with dual-reg and you have to make sure you get the best for both parties, not just for one or the other.
“We have had quite a few [from Leeds] playing for us in the last few games which has been good.
“Playing so many games, it is good to give a lot of people a go, not just bash the same blokes for five weeks before you get to round one.
“Those blokes are really good blokes and they fit in well with our system. I could not ask for any more.”