Dewsbury Rams head coach Neil Kelly has provided an insight into his preparations for the 2018 season, ahead of the squad’s return for training on 13th November.
The Rams have secured the services of the majority of the 2017 squad ahead of the new campaign, while adding Martyn Reilly from Halifax, Harry Woollard from Huddersfield Giants and Jordan Crowther, on a season-long loan, from Wakefield Trinity.
“We have signed the majority of the players that were in the squad last year, and have been able to make some additions to our squad,” said Kelly.
The Rams recently agreed terms with Robbie Ward for another year, while long-serving winger Dale Morton is also on board for his sixth season in Dewsbury colours.
“Robbie is a great player. When we were going well last season, he was able to capitalise on the opportunities that were created for him,” said the Rams boss.
“Hookers benefit from a side that’s playing on the front foot, but it’s also the time when real pressure goes on the hooker’s shoulders.
“Can they use the time and space that the rest of the team has created for them? Can they go through ‘the open door’, as it were? Robbie is a player that can.
“He can utilise the space very well and service the scrum-halves, stand-offs and footballers in the side to play wider.
“I thought he hit the balance really well in 2017, in doing all of those things.
“And Dale is a player who is great at both ends of the field,” Kelly added.
“When we’re on our exit sets he’s a player that can get you a quick play the ball and he does attract a lot of players, because he’s trying to get up.
“He’s got the capabilities of re-gaining his feet quickly, and sometimes it’s too quick for the defender, and that ultimately attracts the penalty.
“In that area of the field, a penalty is really valuable for you.
“He’s also proven that he can beat his man one-on-one and get over the whitewash. He only needs half a chance.
“We’re very pleased to have been able to secure the services of both players, alongside the other members of our squad.”
2017 squad members Luke Adamson, Toby Adamson, Tom Ashton, Lewis Fairhurst, Brad Foster, Mickael Goudemand, Tom Hemingway, Shaun Squires, Mitch Stringer and Tony Tonks have left the club.