Connect with us

Super League

“This isn’t our last step, this is our next step” – McNamara reflects on the 2021 campaign

A historic season in the south of France saw Steve McNamara lead Catalans to a first Grand Final, but what next for the ex-England boss and his side?

McNamara has come a long way since taking the reigns at Bradford in his first major coaching gig and has fulfilled Catalans’ previously untapped potential after taking over in 2017.

He guided them to a first major trophy in 2018 when they became the first team outside of England to win the Challenge Cup and their progression has only continued since then.

They were the league’s most consistent side this term and were rightly crowned League Leaders’ Shield winners thanks to a 31-30 win over Champions St Helens at the Magic Weekend.

But their development failed to take them to Grand Final glory at Old Trafford as they fell to a 12-10 defeat in an intense final as St Helens secured a third consecutive title.

Speaking in an interview on the club’s YouTube channel today, McNamara outlined his disappointment at the defeat but also how proud of his side he is for coming so close to a first Super League title: “It was such a huge effort by everyone involved in our whole organisation to try and get that win. I think we all need a break, some time away, to reflect properly on the season. We’re disappointed, but we’ll bounce back.

“We have no regrets, we put everything out there on the field true Catalans style. We represented our club, our region, our people superbly well. It’s just the frustration and disappointment of falling just two points short. We have to deal with that, I have to deal with that and we have to improve moving forward.”

Catalans is undoubtedly one of the most exciting projects in the league. Since McNamara came in, the Dragons have consistently improved recording two of their three highest league finishes under the former Bradford forward.

But what’s the next step for the French outfit? McNamara spoke today about how they plan to prepare for 2022 and he promised the league that the Dragons will continue their progression: “We have to prepare for next season. I make no apologises for this, but we were solely focused on trying to win the Grand Final and we gave it everything but now we have to pay some attention, and there was some in the background, on next season’s squad and next season’s staff.

“There’ll be a few changes to staff. There’ll be a new head of performance coming in we’ve advertised that and an assistant coach will come in and we will reinvigorate, refresh and progress. That’s the constant message for our team and our club. This isn’t our last step, it’s our next step.”

If his statements prove true and the Dragons continue to improve, Catalans could soon usurp St Helens as the league’s dominant side.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must See

More in Super League