relaxed WAKEFIELD Trinity boss Chris Chester says he will not be rushed into finding a replacement for head of rugby John Kear – and might even put the funds towards strengthening his actual playing squad.
Kear has made the surprise decision to leave and take up the head coach role at League 1 Bradford Bulls, the move being publicly confirmed on Tuesday.
Trinity have advertised for a new assistant to aid Chester although that does not mean there is set to be much of a change to the coaching set-up at Belle Vue.
He told the YEP: “John was officially head of rugby when he joined us last season but that was more of a name or a title he was given.
“On a day-to-day basis he assisted me with Lee Gilmour and Stuart Dickens. Lee and John headed up the defensive side of it and me and Stu did the offensive stuff. It worked pretty well.
“We were all a little bit shocked at the start of the week as we were quite confident John was going to stay.
“But he wants to be a number one again and the lure of a head coach role was too much for him to turn down.
“There’s been some really good applicants for the assistant’s role so far but we’re not going to rush in.
“John’s been away with Wales at the World Cup so it’s been up to myself, Lee and Stu to run the ship during pre-season. It’s run pretty smoothly so far.
“We’ll see what applicants we have in the next few days and if we decide someone is of real quality we’ll have a chat. But there is no rush.”
Chester said Wakefield, whose opening friendly is against Super League champions Leeds Rhinos at Belle Vue on Boxing Day, have almost completed their recruitment for 2018.
However, the former Hull KR chief admitted they do still want to bring another half-back in if possible and a targeted Super League player is on their radar. Chester, whose side fell agonisingly short of fourth-place last season, said: “I think we’re one player short. We just want another half-back and feel we’re close.
“Hopefully by the weekend we might have some positive news. But I thought that a couple of weeks ago and the player then turned us down so we will just wait and see.
“The one position we probably haven’t got great depth is half-back especially if we got an injury to Liam Finn or Jacob Miller.
“But I’ve been trialling Kyle Wood there in training. He doesn’t want to – he wants to play nine and fight Tyler Randell for that spot – but at a push he can play half. I’m happy with a 29-man squad, though, if we don’t get another in.”
Chester added: “If we don’t replace John then we get a little bit extra money to add to the budget, too.
“So, a lot might depend on if we do get that extra assistant so we do have options.”
Meanwhile, Wales Rugby League have confirmed Kear will continue as coach in 2018 despite a difficult World Cup.
Kear, 63, said: “It was a tough World Cup but I feel we’ve made a lot of progress since I took over in 2014. There’s a planned structure to international rugby over the next couple of years. It’ll provide us with a chance to have a real go.
“I feel really energised and fresh for the challenges ahead with both Wales and Bradford.”