Following on from their shock 24-8 defeat to the troubled Salford Red Devils, many Airlie Birds fans are slightly concerned that there is something missing in their ranks and that it may seriously affect their quest for 2018 silverware.
Following the departure last week of Liam Watts to 2017 League Leaders’ Shield winners Castleford Tigers for a reported six figure fee, coach Lee Radford said the club don’t need to spend the funds but that they are there if the management wish to bring in reinforcements. Part of the reason for two straight defeats at Leeds and Salford may well be the absence of four top quality first teamers; Danny Houghton, Albert Kelly and Mickey Paea are supposedly set to return before April while Sika Manu’s calf injury should see him return next month.
While the club seem well stocked in the forward department with a strong group of young pack men coming through, my belief is that the club are short on the wings. While Fetuli Talanoa is effective at what he does, he doesn’t boast the searing pace many Super League wide men have while Bureta Faraimo’s start to his northern hemisphere career has been blighted by injury. While Jack Logan’s return from a very long absence with his own injury concerns thanks to a serious knee problem was timely last week, it is unreasonable to expect him to be able to feature regularly so soon after such a long lay off. Hence, it may be wise to invest some, if not all, of the newly available transfer funds in a pacy winger to pull on the black and white jersey.