Including the obvious target of promotion back to Super League, new Wakefield Trinity boss Daryl Powell has detailed what he’d like to achieve at the club, with their fans at the forefront of his thoughts.
Trinity yesterday morning confirmed the departure of Mark Applegarth, who was unsuccessful in his quest to keep them in the top flight. Assistant Sean Long, who is expected to become the new head coach of ambitious League 1 outfit Oldham, exited alongside him.
Love Rugby League exclusively revealed last month that Powell was the number one target for the Belle Vue hotseat in 2024, with the club gearing up for a takeover.
That takeover has now officially been completed by local businessman Matt Ellis, and by 5pm, veteran coach Powell had been appointed on a four-year deal.
Making a return to the dugout for the first time since his Warrington Wolves dismissal earlier this year following a defeat at Wakefield, the 58-year-old is now relishing what he describes as a ‘blank canvas’.
Daryl Powell lays out promotion aims at Wakefield Trinity
In his first interview, published on Trinity’s YouTube channel, Powell explained: “There’s one aim, that’s to get out of the Championship and get back into Super League.
“You can’t take that challenge as easy, I obviously worked at Featherstone and I played in the Championship in a different guise back when I played, so I know how tough it is.
“I see it as a blank canvas here. Some of the clubs that I’ve been to in the past have sort of been like that where you can almost start from scratch and build the type of culture that you want to build.
“You can build a style of play and help the players to be the very best they can be. Ultimately, that’s what coaching’s all about, helping people to grow and do special things. I really think there’s a foundation here in terms of the group of players that will be staying, and it’s my job to make sure that we sign the players that we need.
“We’ll just then get on with growing a special club, and that’s something I’ve always been the most excited about.
“To get out of the Championship, initially that’s what everyone wants to do at the club. You play to the players that you’ve got. I’ve seen first-hand the ball movement that Wakefield are capable of against Warrington in my last game in charge, and there’s some phenomenal players that are already on-board here.
“It’s about harnessing their skillsets and making sure that we play exactly to the team’s skillsets, we’ll make sure that we get everything right. There’s not always one way of playing, I think it’s about making sure that the team can play the way that it needs to on any given day and in any given situation.
“I’ll be creating a flexible team that can play in different ways, and I think the foundation of the group of players that are here already will be able to do that.”
Veteran coach hails new owner Matt Ellis for ambitions in IMG era
Of course, as the game prepares to enter a new era, Powell’s nous alone won’t be enough to see Wakefield promoted, even if it’s enough to win them the Championship title.
Promotion and relegation will be determined via IMG grading, with a whole host of factors involved in the decision-making. Fans and attendances will play a part in that grading, and the new boss hailed owner Ellis for his determination to make Trinity a force to be reckoned with on and off the field.
The Ackworth-born coach continued: “The big thing is that it’s a fresh start. Teams rise and fall, and it’s really disappointing for the club, 100% it is, but for me it gives us an opportunity to reset.
“There’s a new owner coming in and Matt’s massive in wanting to grow the club in every single way. I think they can be excited for what he’s going to bring off the field, and for me, I want to make them excited for what they’re going to see on it.
“I know it’s been a tough period for Wakefield fans, but we’re looking to create something special. I want them to come and enjoy the matchday experience, what they see on the field, and us winning. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it!?
“Players doing special things, just being connected as a club to the fans. If they get behind us, we’ll give them something special, and I know Matt has a massive desire to make sure that the fans get what they need.
“I think they should be really excited about that.”