Despite the departure of his coaching partner John Kear to Bradford Bulls this weeks, Wakefield’s head coach Chris Chester isn’t panicking to find someone to step into the coaching veteran’s shoes and instead is looking at potentially spending the newly released funds on strengthening his playing roster.
After being surprisingly announced as the coach of the fallen giants, Kear has obviously left his role as head of rugby at the Wildcats, albeit that title wasn’t neccessarily his actual job with Chester saying “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.” Indeed, the Wakefield supremo – who guided his team to a strong fifth placed finish in 2017 – was taken by surprise with the announcement at the start of the week but understood Kear’s decision to leave Belle Vue, stating “he wants to be a No 1 again and the lure of a head coach role was too much for him.”
Indeed, it certainly is an appealing prospect for someone of Kear’s experience to potentially be the man to set Bradford on the path to return to former glories and, while Chester understands his previous partner’s decision, he isn’t rushing to replace. With Lee Gilmour and Stuart Dickens already on the training pitch on a daily basis with him, the former Hull KR coach said that “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.” Chester himself outlined that the Wildcats are targeting another half back to provide both competition and back up for Liam Finn and Jacob Miller, although he feels that will be the final piece of 2018’s jigsaw for the Wildcats and was quoted as saying “I think we’re one player short. We just want another half-back and feel we’re close.”
After falling agonisingly short of the play offs last season, Chester will be hoping he can go one better in 2018 and finish in the top four and, with a strong pre season under their belts, they will definitely be in with a shout.