Smith: Preparations Going Well
With pre-season now under-way and everyone looking forward to the start of the new campaign warringtonwolves.com catches up with head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith to see how the early preparations are going.
"It's been, as it always is at this stage of the year, a little bit disjointed in terms of the number of players in training as we've had players on international duty and those who've had minor operations and clean-ups of injuries from last year. We've had to accommodate different finishing times for different players but that's normal for us. It means that everyone's not back together until Christmas and we are looking forward to that.
"So far the players back in training or have been on rehab have all been fantastic. Their attitude has been great and with the progression of some of the younger players they are keen to get their chance this coming season. This breeds enthusiasm and causes a lot of rivalry for places when some of the senior players see the junior players coming through, aspiring to take their places, which is a healthy thing."
This off-season has seen two young players make the step up into the first team training squad in the form of Gene Ormsby and Gavin Bennion.
"They are good young boys. They are talented rugby players and that's why they are in the training squad. It's obvious to see those who've been in the full time squad for a year or more as opposed to when they first come in. It's physically straining and challenging for players to come from a part-time basis to a full time set-up. Their levels of fitness will probably take a year or two to get up to speed but they understand that and that the whole purpose of bringing the juniors through."
There have been few changes to the playing squad and the performance staffing has been no different with coaches extending their contracts into 2013.
"There's not been many changes in the personnel or in a lot of the things we will look to do. However, we are always looking for improvement and better ways of doing things to challenge ourselves and the players. The coaching staff have been challenging themselves about this coming year which is a healthy environment for us to work in. There's been an addition to our staff with Ben Stirling joining as head physio. The way Ben has been able to contribute has been sensational so far and we are excited about some of his ideas and the things he can bring to the club."
Away from the training field some of the players have been trying their hand at other ventures with Adrian Morley supporting Joining Jack in Dubai and Tyrone McCarthy volunteering in Gambia.
"It's nice to know our boys are doing some really good things, not just in their break but even during the season. The amount of charitable causes they help is fantastic and we are proud of our players in that respect. They've developed a whole lot and will continue to do so."
And we couldn't go without mentioning Ben Westwood and his Testimonial year.
"They seem to be having some fun along the way and I'm not surprised. I believe his best entertainment is on the Rugby League field. He's a pleasure to work with in all sorts of respects. He has a great sense of humour, is a good person and a good Rugby League player. It's a well deserved testimonial and we will all support him. I'm sure he‘ll do what Bennie does best and play rugby to the hardest degree."
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21, Dec, 2012