Wakefield boss Chris Chester has revealed that youngsters Connor Bailey and Yusuf Aydin will make their Super League debuts against Hull FC on Friday, while the club has also battled further Covid-19-related issues this week.
Trinity’s clash with Leeds was postponed last week after two of their players tested positive for coronavirus and Chester has confirmed that there was a third positive test this week.
It has led to several members of playing and backroom staff being forced to self-isolate, leaving the side significantly light on numbers.
“As a club, we’re just airing on the side of caution over the next few weeks,” Chester said. “We obviously picked up a few (positive tests) from that Catalans game and we had another one during the week.
“So we’ve had to stand down a few players for certain reasons and two members of our medical staff as well. We’ve already got a small staff working behind the scenes and it’s been made even smaller over the last seven days.
“We’re literally down now to 19 players out of the 33 that we’ve got in the squad. We had one session on Monday and a quick 30/40-minute session this morning as a team run.
“It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for one reason or another – having games cancelled, and obviously having guys test positive and be stood down for track and trace reasons – but we just want to make sure we do our best and fulfil our fixtures until the end of the season.”
While the situation Trinity find themselves in is far from ideal, Friday’s game will give Chester an opportunity to blood the two latest talents to roll off Trinity’s production line.
Connor Bailey, a halfback or loose forward, and Yusuf Aydin, a prop, will make their Super League debuts and Chester is excited to see how they fare at the top level.
“I just want them to go out and enjoy it. I’m looking for people like Joe Westerman, Reece Lyne and Jay Pitts to really step forward and help nurture those guys through the game. We’ve all been there as a player; (in) that first game you’re very nervous.
“Connor has been there or there abouts for the last couple of weeks. He’s a player that I admire, he’s a player that’s worked really hard on his game. He’s been exceptional for the under-19s for the last couple of seasons and it’s a good opportunity for me to see how Connor goes.
“Yusuf had an opportunity in pre-season. He played in the friendly against Hull KR and it looked a real positive debut, and he’s been waiting and waiting and obviously with what’s gone on in the last seven days and the last 48 hours, it’s given us an opportunity to throw young Yusuf in there.
“It’s a great opportunity for those young kids and it’s up to them now to really shine.
“The main thing is just doing their job and doing it to the best of their ability, not to try and overplay or impress too much. They’ve impressed in training, hence the reason why they’ve been picked in the team for the weekend.
“I’ve said it many times, this batch of young players we’ve got with (Jack) Crofty, Connor Bailey and Yusuf Aydin is probably the best crop of young kids we’ve had since Tom (Johnstone) breaking through, and Max Jowitt and Jordy Crowther all those years ago.
“So I’m looking forward to seeing them play, and play against men, and we’ll get more of an indication of where they’re at physically.”