Hunslet RLFC: Coach Alan Kilshaw to adopt 'different philosophy' in face of League One funding cut

Some of Hunslet’s best players will leave the club this winter, coach Alan Kilshaw expects.

By Peter Smith
Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 11:45 am
Hunslet coach Alan Kilshaw. Picture c/o Hunslet RLFC
Hunslet coach Alan Kilshaw. Picture c/o Hunslet RLFC

The Parksiders are now in their off-season after last Sunday’s 31-10 loss at Doncaster in the Betfred League One play-offs.

It is still unclear how much central funding clubs in the lowest tier will receive for the 2022 season, but Hunslet fear they could lose up to 80 per cent of their current income.

That makes Kilshaw’s job harder as he attempts to build a squad capable of challenging for promotion and he feels player departures are inevitable.

Even so, the coach insisted: “It is a challenge I am looking forward to.”

Kilshaw said: “I am sure it will be announced that some of our better players will be leaving the club because they have signed elsewhere.

“That’s the market at the minute and where we’re at.

“Players want to go and play Championship rugby and they go with our best wishes.

“For us, it is about getting the balance right on and off the field and having a good pre-season.

“After a break, that’s what I’ll be putting my attentions into and all my focus.”

Of his team building plans, the coach said: “We won’t be recruiting mercenaries and people who must want to take money from the club or take money from the game.

“We will be recruiting players who want to play.

“We will have a different philosophy for the next couple of seasons in how we build the squad.

“We will be looking at younger lads, local lads and topping them up with experience.

“We want to keep the likes of Straff [captain Duane Straugheir] around to help the young lads.”

Kilshaw is confident Hunslet can build on this year’s fifth place finish, even without some of their bigger names.

He stressed: “That doesn’t mean we won’t be competitive.

“We will have a good pre-season and we’ll come out and be a tough, aggressive, relentless rugby league team.

“We have shown signs of that this year with this group over a short period, but with a full pre-season with a hungry group there is still a lot to look forward to.”

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.