PAUL Wellens says the expectation at Saints has never changed and they need to embrace the opportunity 2014 presents.
Speaking ahead of his 17th season in the red vee the veteran told Saintsrlfc.com that if you want to be involved with a top club then there is a necessity to perform.
“The coaching staff, players, supporters and the chairman all expect success and that has never changed,” he said, “and because it has been a while since we won a trophy, we have to embrace that, look at the situation and change it.
“That process began in November. People see the season starting in February but for most of us it was at the beginning of November. We’ve been working hard for each other and that is a key component for us.”
He continues: “We have new personnel and can rightly be excited about the year ahead. New players tend to settle in very quickly here and the ‘local’ players – Kyle Amor, Matty Dawson and Richie Beaumont – have already done that.
“Mose Masoe and Luke Walsh, apart from noticing a difference in the weather, have settled in too. We were short of a half back and whilst Jon Wilkin did a great job last season, in Luke we are gaining a quality half back who understands the organisational side of the game.
“We also gain an international back rower in Jon Wilkin. Signing one player has gained us two.
“Luke has done well since he has come here. He has an excellent kicking game and his attributes will suit a player like Lance Hohaia. He can play his natural game as can James Roby and Jonny Lomax.
“Then we have a new forward line. Successful Saints sides of the past have always had big packs – the likes of Apollo (Perelini), Villa (Matautia), Jason Cayless and Paul Anderson. Size helps win rugby league games.
“Mose (Masoe) has size, as does Alex Walmsley who will be better for his debut season, Kyle Amor and Richard Beaumont. Good packs get on top and dominate and that is the challenge to these blokes.”
Saints will kick off their Super League campaign with a trip to Warrington Wolves on Thursday February 13 before hosting Hull FC eight days later in a blockbusting Langtree Park opener.
Before then, Nathan Brown’s men take on Batley Bulldogs (January 24) and Wigan Warriors (January 31) in pre-season friendlies.
To buy tickets for these matches click here or pop into the Ticket Office at Langtree Park.
You can also call 01744 455 052.