Wakefield Wildcats: Team spirit key to Washbrook signing new contract

Danny Washbrook
Danny Washbrook
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BACK-ROW FORWARD Danny Washbrook has signed a new one-year contract, keeping him at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats until the end of 2015.

Washbrook’s latest deal will take him into a fourth season, after he joined Wakefield from Hull ahead of the 2012 campaign.

The 28-year-old said: “I am happy to get it all sorted.

“I’m looking forward to the last part of the year and getting ready for next season.”

Washbrook, who is included in Wildcats’ initial 19-man squad for tonight’s trip to St Helens, identified the team spirit among Wakefield’s players as one of the main reasons he was keen to stay at the club.

Washbrook – 29 next month – who played for his home city club Hull from 2005-2011, added: “I have really enjoyed it here.

“All the boys – the ones who are here now and the ones who’ve left – will probably say it’s the best group of lads they’ve played with throughout their career.

“I agree with that. We have got a really tight-knit group and the banter that goes on at training and away from training is something I had never really experienced before I came here. I think everybody enjoys each other’s company, which is good.”

One of the first names on Wildcats’ team sheet throughout his spell under both previous coach Richard Agar and his successor James Webster, Washbrook has missed only a handful of games since his debut.

“When the opportunity came up in 2011 to come to Wakefield I thought it was an opportunity for me to nail down a regular place,” he recalled.

“I have managed to do that and I have really enjoyed it. We have had our difficult times: we started my first season off with a win at Widnes and then it took a bit of a dive, but we finished up with that great run which got us into the play-offs.

“Last year was a similar sort of story. The season didn’t start great, but we picked up and that has sort of happened again this year.

“Although it might seem like we are slow starters, everyone expects us to be bottom of the league.

“A third of the way through the season we look like we are going to be, but then we kick on. I think that’s testament to the lads and the conditioning staff, who get us through to the end of the year.”

Wildcats have four games left in First Utility Super League, but Washbrook is already thinking ahead to 2015.

“We have got some quality players coming in,” he observed. “Craig Hall is a really skilful player, Matty Ashurst is going to add a lot to us on attack and defence and Mickael Simon is a big unit, which is something I think we need

“I don’t think we’ve had a proper pre-season since I’ve been here, but Webbo will be looking to get it so everybody starts at the same time and everybody knows their role, so when it comes to the friendlies we are ready to go, instead of having to learn stuff throughout the first month or so.

“That’s really important, because Webbo has got his own ideas which he will want to implement.

“If you’ve got people who aren’t there for the first four or five weeks it means re-covering it, which then means you have to miss out something else.

“The longer everybody’s there, the better.

“You can tell that because of the way we’ve progressed throughout the season.

“You can see we improve once we get used to playing together and the way everybody plays.”

Liam Finn in brief match action against Widnes. PIC: Stephen Gaunt/Touchlinepics.com

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