KC Pleased With Progress

KEIRON Cunningham is happy with Saints’ pre-season progress so far.

The coaching staff have been putting the majority of the 2017 squad through their paces ready for the big opening clash with Leeds next year.

“We’re thick in pre-season now,” he said. “The junior players have been back a month and the seniors around three weeks. You have to give the players who played in the Four Nations an allotted amount of time off but Luke Douglas came in afterwards and did a little training with us before heading home.

“He will be back after Christmas whilst Adam Walker, Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival will be in before.

“We have been doing lots of fitness, strength and team work and it is going well. I thought with a new half back and other players coming in that the dynamic of the team would change, and we would have to teach early on, but we look like we have played together for ages.

“That is without the likes of Lomax, Percy, Douglas and Walker, and some of the other senior players who can’t train. We are doing this with juniors so when we push the quality in and a lot more seniors then I am really excited about pre-season this year.”

Cunningham admits that the 2017 Saints will firmly have his stamp on it and says he is always on the lookout for more recruits.

“When we were recruiting we had a certain character of player we were looking for; a specific player that would fit the club and improve the team. If you look at who we signed, a lot of it is leadership. Matty (Smith), Tommy Lee and Luke Douglas are all experienced and it makes us better by having them on the field.

“Is that the end of our recruitment? You never say never. There isn’t much money to bring anything massively in but you have to leave some jiggle room whether it is upgrading juniors or last minute superstars. If something pops up that has quality, and can improve us as a club, then we are always on the lookout.

“It is my team now. We’ve had a shake up and made an oath to the board, Eamonn and Mike Rush, that if you aren’t doing the right thing by the club – that’s working hard as the Lomax’s for example – then you won’t be at the club.

“We’ve had a big turnaround of players and I think if some had their time again they might do it different.

“I believe in the group we have here – we have players and leaders to take us to where we would like to go.

“We were a few calls from doing something last year and you could say the same at Leeds the year before. But we don’t want to be a nearly side, we want to compete.

“At a club of this calibre expectancy weighs on the shoulders but I believe we have the players to stand up to it.”

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