Wakefield Season Preview

Ahead of the 2019 season we have contacted fans from our Super League opponents, to help to give us a steer on how they see the season going for their team.

Ahead of our first away game of the season, and hot on the heels of yesterdays preview of Castleford, we are joined by Twitter user @wakeywhite who says “I’ve been watching Wakefield for 20 years, started watching in the season before we got promoted to Super League, and had a season ticket every year since then. Get to most away games too.”

A finish of 5th for Trinity in 2018 – the same as 2017. There’s a lot to like about the set up at Wakefield but can you sum up last season as a Trinity fan? (Were you happy, frustrated, disappointed etc. and why)

Last season was a little frustrating as once again we did really well in the regular fixtures but just fell away and came up short in the 8s. But even so, for a club with our budget to be finishing in the playoff spots is incredible and I’m proud that we once again punched above our weight.

A few solid, under the radar, signings this season – are you happy with the recruitment as a whole (both in and out)? Is Danny Brough the answer to you staying in the top 5, or pushing even higher? Is there any other position you would look to strengthen?

Very pleased with the recruitment, think we’ve got a good blend of experience and youth brought into the club and improved on last year. Brough is a bit of a gamble, but on his day there isn’t a better half in Super League – especially the kicking game. Other clubs have recruited well though so taking nothing for granted.

Who should we be looking out for in aWakefield shirt this year (and why)?

I think everyone knows about Tom Johnstone and what he can do but I’m gonna say Jacob Miller at stand off. With Brough arriving and taking over the organisational side of things, it leaves Miller to play his more off the cuff style, which really suits him and I fancy him to have a big year.

Which of your young players is most likely to break into the first team this year?

I think James Batchelor will be the one to properly cement his place in the first team this year. He’s been gradually introduced and looks a real talent, great tackling technique, a hard runner and looks to have a good rugby brain on him too. I saw you guys have signed his brother Joe too, so it will be interesting to see how they both develop.

The Super 8’s have gone and the top 4 play offs have been replaced with the top 5, theoretically giving the top place team a better chance of reaching the Grand Final – are you in favour of the changes?

I think overall it’s a positive change. I enjoyed the 8s concept and it produced some cracking games and dramatic moments, but unfair on the players involved in the middle 8s and the MPG is a horrible fixture, the least enjoyable 80 minutess I’ve ever spent at Belle Vue. The new system makes more sense, doesn’t reward teams finishing 8th and will be a lot easier to explain to newcomers!

How do you think Wakefield will go in 2019? (Where will they finish, Cup run etc)

I’m tipping Wakefield to be competing for the final playoff spot, hard to predict an exact position as a lot of clubs seem to be at a similar level. I would absolutely love Wakey to reach the Challenge Cup final, watching your team run out at Wembley must be amazing and we have as good a chance as anyone so why not!?

How do you think the Saints will go in 2019? (Where will they finish, Cup run etc) Which player are you most worried about when we face each other?

I fancy Saints to go well again in 2019 and fancy you and Wire to be battling it out for top spot. It will be interesting to see how you fill the hole left by Barba because while he was a joy to watch and an incredible player, I thought he made you guys a little predictable towards the end of the season – everyone knew where the ball was going! Coote looks to be a fantastic signing however and I fancy him to go well too, should be quite interesting to see who Holbrook puts where. Roby is the player I always worry about when we play Saints, if you guys get any kind of platform, he is an absolute menace and almost unplayable on his day.


Top 5: Wire Saints Wigan Cas Wakefield

Grand Final – Saints vs Wire

Champions – Saints (more big game experience)

Challenge Cup – Wakefield!

Man of Steel – Blake Austin

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