Kear hails Bennett’s coaching qualities

Batley and Wales coach John Kear believes that Wayne Bennett would be a good appointment as England coach.

The RFL have confirmed that Steve McNamara is leaving the role, with his contract now having expired.

Bennett has been strongly tipped to succeed McNamara, and Kear can appreciate why the RFL would target such a titan of the game for the role.

“I think Steve’s done a good job, to tell you the truth,” he told Love Rugby League.

“But Wayne Bennett is obviously a stellar coach, so I can understand why the RFL would go for him, because he’s outstanding.”

Kear, now 61, is a former England coach himself. He is pleased to see older coaches still playing important roles in the sport.

His hunger for the coming campaign with Batley is as strong as it has ever been.

“There’s a revival of the seniors!” he smiled.

“There’s Brian Smith, and there might be another senior [Bennett] joining the English game, so that will make it more interesting!

“I am looking forward to it a great deal. I think the competition generally improves year upon year.

“So your squad and your preparation has got to improve year upon year, and we feel we’ve done that.

“We’re also hopeful of making considerable strides forward as well, so it’s exciting.

“It’ll be combative and competitive, and I’m really looking forward to it!”

With more Championship clubs now full-time, Kear acknowledges that the level of challenge will change again in 2016.

“It’s bound to do, because they’ve got full time planning and preparation,” he explained.

“I know from my own time in Super League as a full-time coach, but also with Wales recently.

“You can really cross Ts, dot Is and go in real depth, individually as well as group.

“What you do as a part time coach and player, is you’ve got to prioritise.

“You have to be aware, as well, of what your players are doing throughout the rest of the day.

“There’s different considerations, but I still feel that a part-time club can really get stuck in there and compete.

“I’m not saying a part-time club can get into the top four, although Richard Marshall at Halifax did a pretty good job of doing that last year.

“But I am convinced that you should be aiming for fifth or sixth and giving a bit of a shake-up to these full-time clubs as well.

“We can either turn up to the first game, which is against a crackerjack outfit who have spent a lot of money in Leigh, and roll over and die and have our tummy tickled.

“Or we can get there, look them in the eye, and say, ‘Right, we’re going to have a go at you and see what you’re made, and see what we’re made of.’

“That’s exactly the attitude we’re going to have.”

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