TOUGH LOVE has helped take Featherstone Rovers’ half-backs to a new level, according to boss Jon Sharp.
Matty Wildie and Anthony Thackeray have impressed in Rovers’ three-game win run at the start of the Kingstone Press Championship season and Sharp said he has sometimes had to tell them things they didn’t want to hear.
“It has been a bit of a journey for the pivots, for Wildie and Thackeray,” Sharp said. “I suppose it has been like pulling teeth for them, really – I think at times – aggressive with them.
“Your drills and video stuff, all those things, attack and target certain parts of the player’s game, ie that they need to kick the ball better. When you need to try and teach a bloke about understanding where the game is and how many sets you’ve completed and what the opposition are doing and understanding that part of the game, that comes with forthright views and opinions and telling them ‘I don’t want you to do that, I want you to do this and if you’re going to be in the team you need to execute this’.
“Thankfully we’ve all stuck at it and kept in love with one another and you can see now, in particular Thackeray, how he is benefiting. I know the potential he has got and what he can do. He needed those candid conversations and from it he has become a super footballer, who understands the game.”