Dewsbury staying on budget
Dewsbury coach Glenn Morrison says changes to the Championship salary cap won’t affect his club with the Rams recruitment finished for the 2016 season.
Dewsbury have brought in nine new players with 13 leaving the club at the end of the 2015 campaign.
The competition’s salary cap is being raised but Morrison said the Rams will be sticking to their existing budget.
“I think we’re pretty well done now,” he told Love Rugby League.
“We’re on a lot lower budget than some of the top teams.
“We’re really happy with the squad we’ve got together with the budget we run with. I think we can be competitive.
“That salary cap change doesn’t really affect us.
“From where we’ve finished and below, it doesn’t really affect us because the club is run on a budget and we stick to that and always pay the bills and don’t overdo things.
“Which does make it tough for us to compete with teams like Leigh and Bradford and London and the other full-time teams.
“But we’ll do our best like all the other teams in the competition.
“Again, fighting for that top six and the Shield, but if we make that one step closer it’s obviously what every team and every coach wants to do.”
Dewbsury finished sixth last season, sixth in 2014 and seventh the year before. Morrison joined the club at the end of 2012.
Sustainable growth is the mantra of the Australian.
“All along we’ve wanted to improve on and off the field and we’ve done that with our places have gone up each year,” Morrison said.
“Off the field we’ve made a lot of improvements, we’ve been named Championship club of the year so it’s been a big season for us.
“Again, we’re not going out there saying we’re going to win the competition or make top four. Our goal is improving again.
“If we can do that and finish in the top six and make that Shield final, which we had a good chance to do it this year so that was our only disappointment.
“If we can do that it’s step forward from last season and we’ll just keep looking to improve again.”
The Rams will feature a new halfback combination in 2016 with Andy Kain arriving from Hunslet, Ben Reynolds from Leigh, Dom Speakman from Tweeds Head Seagulls and Paul Sykes from Featherstone all vying for places.
Anthony Thackeray and Matt Wildie have left to join Featherstone, while Kieran Hyde has moved to Swinton.
“Losing Thacks was a big loss,” Morrison admits.
“We had to work hard to get a replacement in. We’ve done really well, we’ve got Kain and Reynolds has come in late doors.
“We did a deal with Leigh, I think Ben’s a great young half. And also Dom Speakman back from Australia.
“So we’ve done really well there and we’ve got Paul Sykes, so we’ve got plenty of experience.
“He’s a local boy, Dewsbury lad, so it’s been good to get him to the club.”
Front-rowers Matt Groat from Doncaster and Tony Tonks from Sheffield have also joined the Rams.
“With our forward pack I think we needed to improve, we’ve brought a couple of big boys in with Matt Groat the Aussie and also Tony Tonks,” Morrison said.
“We’ve got a bit of depth there now.
“Sheffield offered Tony a full-time contract as he’s still one of the best front-rowers going round.
“But with his work he couldn’t take it on. I’ve spoke to him a couple of times since I’ve taken over at Dewsbury and we couldn’t get it done, so I’m really happy to get him on board.
“Also with Groat we’ve got good blend of experience with some young boys coming through.
“I’m excited about starting, only a few weeks to the Boxing Day game.”
Dewsbury take on Batley at Tetley’s Stadium on December 26. They also face Sheffield on January 10, St Helens on January 17 and London on January 30 in friendlies.
Morrison said pre-season training is on track ahead of the Championship opener away at Swinton on February 7.
“It’s been good, the boys came back in good shape,” the 39-year old said.
“We gave them an off-season program which most of them stuck to.
“So we’ve been able to get our hands on the ball a little bit more than in the past.
“We’ve got two new halfbacks, so it’s coming along pretty good.”