New Rovers recruits quickly settle in

DARYL Powell is delighted with the way Featherstone's new faces are slotting in.

With 11 new signings, competition for places will be keener than ever next season and team boss Powell (pictured) believes that could bring the best out of the Rovers squad.

"We are into our second week of training and things are going pretty well. There are quite a few new faces and the boys are knitting together really quickly and I am happy with the way they've all integrated," he said.

"We've created a really competitive environment in which they are competing against each other at every session and that's gone down pretty well.

"The new guys are working in small team groups and they've fitted straight into that, with some good leadership coming through.

"They are all working very hard and you can see straight away there's a real solid, competitive atmosphere among the group.

"The players themselves can see when they look around that it's going to be a tough team to get into this year and as a result everyone is working exceptionally hard to be as good as they can be.

"I think the competition for places could be the difference this season. Obviously as we went through last season different people left the club and that left us quite skinny in the end in terms of quality of numbers.

"I think the quality as well as the numbers this year is going to make it really difficult for me to start with in terms of selecting the team and it is going to make it difficult for individuals to get into the side. It makes sense that people have to strive to be as good as they possibly can to pick up the spots."

Rovers are edging closer to finalising clearance for Papua New Guinea signings Jessie Joe Parker and Larsen Masabe.

Said Powell: "Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later that they are getting the flight tickets and we've got them over here."

Featherstone's home form let them down last season and that's something Powell aims to remedy.

He said: "Without going over the top too much on it, I think the players will recognise that it's something we need to be good at. Obviously you want to improve your crowd levels and that goes hand in hand with making sure your home form is right.

"The fans have also got a big part to play in terms of their input and making sure it's a great environment for our players to play in and a hostile one for visiting teams to play in.

"I'm pretty comfortable that we are going to be right. We have the personnel and the characters in place to make sure we'll be good both home and away in the coming season."

Wakefield Wildcats have announced they will play a pre-season friendly at Featherstone Rovers on Sunday, January 10.