Danny Brough backed to make Wakefield Trinity impact by coach Chris Chester
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 10/01/19 7:58pm
Wakefield coach Chris Chester believes Danny Brough can make all the difference this year as Trinity seek to reach the Super League play-offs.
Chester's men have finished fifth in each of the last two campaigns and a repeat of that feat in 2019 would put them on course for Old Trafford in the new top-five play-off series which has replaced the old end-of-season Super 8s format.
Chester reckons it will be harder than ever to finish in the top five but is hoping the arrival of the evergreen Brough - who turns 36 on January 15 - on a two-year-old deal from Huddersfield can help Wakefield make the big breakthrough.
"It's probably going to be the most difficult season to get into that top five with the way other teams have strengthened but nobody expected us to do it the last couple of years," Chester said.
"We're all excited and I genuinely feel that we're a better team with the players we've brought in.
"The plan was always to bring in a world-class half-back and I think Danny is that.
"I made him vice-captain and he's been unbelievable for us, just helping drive the standards in training.
"He's a competitor, he wants to win everything out on the training field and if that can rub off onto some of the other guys then we'll be a very tough team to beat."
Brough has also been given a vote of confidence by his half-back partner Jacob Miller, who has taken over from Danny Kirmond as captain for 2019.
"He's been great since he came in," said Miller. "The experience he brings to the team is really good. I think he'll be a really good addition for us.
"His kicking game is probably an area that we lacked last year and I'm really looking forward to playing with him this year."
Chester expects to be able to pick from a full-strength squad for the opening game against promoted London Broncos at Ealing on February 3, a fixture the coach is wary of.
"We played Hull KR last year when they got promoted and it was a tough game," said Chester. "I know the score blew out at the end but it was touch and go with 20 minutes to go.
"I would have preferred to play them halfway through the season. They'll be full of beans, there will be a decent crowd down there and they're playing on a 4G pitch.
"They've pretty much kept the same squad together and added some quality as well. Wardy [Broncos coach Danny Ward] has done a fantastic job, it's a tough opening for us.
"Fortunately the chairman and chief executive are making it possible for us to travel the day before to give us the best chance possible."