Former Wakefield Trinity and Hull FC coach John Kear left Bradford Bulls mid way through last season and went on to take over at Widnes Vikings.
This is his first pre-season with the club and Kear told the club’s website that he was very pleased with how things are going:
“It’s going really well. The application of the players has been first-class, and that’s all you can really measure it with.
“We feel that we’re being prudent and sensible with what we’re asking them to do, and they’re certainly applying themselves in the best possible way. I’m really pleased with where we’re at.”
It is a first full pre-season in the job for Kear, who took charge of the Vikings back in June.
“The staff have been great. We’ve worked really well together, really hard together and really smartly together.
“I do feel that we’ve benefitted from that. You can see that we have an enthusiastic group, a hard-working group and a group with a bit of a spring in their step.”
He also spoke highly of the club’s new signings which includes big names like serial winner with St Helens Kyle Amor and star halfback Tom Gilmore:
“They’ve brought a hunger and a desire to cement a place in the team, and the more established players have noticed that as well.
“We’ve brought some smartness in as well, with some of the senior players recruited. They’ve offered an element and composure in terms of their rugby IQ.”
He also explained his philosophy with regards to friendlies:
“We went for the two-for-one philosophy. If you’ve got players vying for one spot, it automatically drives standards in training.
“Everyone is looking over their shoulder, thinking ‘he could step in’. It does make for intense, competitive training, and that’s exactly what we want.
“We’ve got two already [friendlies] arranged, and the likelihood of a third, which we’d be delighted about.
“We have a big squad, a squad with depth. The challenge will then be, ‘you’ll all get equal amounts of minutes, so get out there and give me problems selecting a 17’.
“I certainly hope they’ll do that, and I’m certainly confident that they can do that.”