Wakefield Trinity season preview - top-six is target says Chester
The top-six is a realistic target for Wakefield Trinity this year, coach Chris Chester insists.
Trinity had a tough season, on and off the pitch, in 2020, losing 10 successive games at one stage and eventually finishing second from bottom of Betfred Super League.
But that was then. Trinity have since solved one of their major problems by bringing in talented half-back Mason Lino from Newcastle Knights and Chester reckons they will be a different proposition this term.
“We have got to aim for the top-six,” Chester said.
“Every time you go into a season you want to be involved in the play-offs.
“I think we showed towards the back end of last year what we need to do and how to compete.
“We have brought in a really good-quality half-back who is going to ease the burden on Jacob Miller and we have got Dave Fifita who is 100 per cent fit.
“He probably hasn’t been fit for the last couple of years.
“We’ve also got strike players in Bill Tupou and Tom Johnstone who are fit and ready to go as well.
“I am happy with the squad. We will keep our objectives and goals in-house, but every club wants to be involved in play-offs and we are no different.”
Trinity played more Super League games than any of their rivals last year, despite losing key players due to injury and following a series of positive Covid tests.
Even Chester admitted to being relieved once the final whistle blew on their last match, but he detects a much more positive mood in the camp now.
“There’s a better feeling throughout the whole organisation, from top to bottom,” he said.
“I think we have got a good squad, with some good young kids who have come through and been really good in pre-season.”
That could be important if coronavirus strikes again.
Chester stressed: “I am really happy with where we are at this moment in time.
“I have said it many times, if we keep a clean bill of health, we will be a very, very hard team to beat.”
He added: “What happened last year was beyond our control, we couldn’t do anything about it.
“The team we trained with all week was, probably 90 per cent of the time, totally different to the one that took the field on a weekend.
“We are hoping that’s a total flip-around this year and 90 per cent of the time the team that trains during the week is the one that’s going to play on a weekend.
“If we keep our quality fit and keep our halves fit, I am expecting a much better season than the last one.”
WAKEFIELD TRINITY 2021
In: Mason Lino (Newcastle Knights).
Out: Ryan Atkins (York City Knights), Connor Bailey (Newcastle Thunder, loan), Danny Brough (Bradford Bulls), Tony Gigot (Avignon), Titus Gwaze (London Broncos), Ben Jones-Bishop (York), Danny Kirmond (York), Craig Kopczak (Featherstone Rovers).
Number: Six. Seasons in charge for Chris Chester, who was appointed coach of his home city club at Easter, 2016.
Last year: 10th in Betfred Super League; Challenge Cup round six.
Key man: Trinity are excited what Samoan half-back Mason Lino will bring to their side this year. The former New Zealand Warriors pivot, signed from Newcastle Knights, has an excellent kicking game and will take some of the pressure off half-back partner and captain Jacob Miller.
Odds to win Grand Final: 66-1.
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