Webster raring to go

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5th June 2014

New Wakefield Trinity Wildcats boss James Webster insists he is ready for the job after becoming the youngest head coach in First Utility Super League.

Webster, who at 34 is four months younger than Hull FC's Lee Radford, stepped up into the hot seat of the relegation-threatened club following the decision of Richard Agar to step down after two-and-a-half years in the job.

Australian Webster, who was a scrum-half with Widnes Vikings, Hull KR and Hull before hanging up his boots at the end of the 2008 season, is delighted to have been given the security of a contract running to the end of 2016.

"It's two-and-a-half years so that gives me some confidence," he told his first press conference at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium. "I'm extremely happy the club have shown some faith in me to give me such a long deal.

"Obviously the position we're in at the moment means we're looking to retain some of our players and bring some new ones in.

"It's a little bit tough with the league position we're in at the moment, but hopefully that will be clarified in the next couple of weeks and we can look to kick on."

Webster was assistant to Agar both at Wakefield and their previous club Hull, and also with France at the 2013 World Cup, but admits his promotion has come quicker than he anticipated.

"Obviously, with Rich having two more years to go after this I never expected to be in this position at Wakefield," he said.

"Having said that, I'm quite well prepared in that I've done five or six years in being an assistant coach in Super League so feel like I've got some grounding and I'm well prepared for the job ahead.

"I probably decided after my first year of coaching at Hull that, when the right time came, I'd look to get a head coach's job.

"I understand the transition I have to make from assistant to head coach and the responsibilities that come with that. It will probably take a little bit of time but I'm sure I'll pick it up pretty quickly."

Webster does not intend to bring in additional support staff but will hand more responsibility to the club's Under-19s coach Stuart Dickens.

"Stuy's in the system already with us and he's done a great job during the last two years," Webster added. "His natural progression now is to coach some more and he's ready for that and will do a good job.

"As a player he played 500 games for Featherstone so has a lot of respect within the group and is able to pick up a couple more things for me, while I've to do a couple more things that Rich wouldn't have to in regards to setting things up and moving things around as we're a man light, but I don't see that as a problem."

Webster has been given nearly two weeks to prepare for his first match in charge, the visit of bottom club London Broncos to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium on Friday week.

"That was always the idea," he said. "I thought the club came up with a really smart idea and once they decided - between Richard and the club - that the deal was going to be done the way it was, they saw the gap for the news to settle in with the players and for us to refocus for the next half of the year.

"We've been able to do that and been able to use today's training session as a bit of an eye opener before we really start some really good prep for London next week."

Webster raring to go 2013.superleague.co.uk
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