DANNY GRAINGER: Delighted to be back

First-team manager Danny Grainger is delighted to be back training following Reds’ first workout in over three months.

Reds returned to duty at Penrith Rugby Club on Thursday and made the most of lockdown restrictions easing this week.

Speaking post-session, the boss discussed various topics including he and assistant Steven Rudd’s spring recruitment, players departures and firstly, getting back at it.

“We’re obviously delighted to be back,” Grainger unsurprisingly beamed following the 90-minute bout.

“It’s been a long few months for the lads not seeing each other and being involved in football, and for myself, too, on a personal note.”

Given that it’s only April, Grainger has had to devise a rough schedule of how things will work this spring and summer, as he revealed.

“The plan is to do a short ‘pre’ pre-season, see where the lads are, get them back into it and have a sweat on each night, once a week,” explained the gaffer.

“We’ll then have a little bit of a break before a pre-season leading up to what’s going to be a massive campaign for us.”

Grainger and Rudd have re-signed 13 players this summer and brought in one new face, Iywrah Gooden.

As alluded to when he and his no. 2 signed new deals in February, Grainger is keen on keeping his retained players on their toes with new arrivals.

“It’s something we spoke about last season; we needed a freshness and to bring in players who’re ready to challenge for a first-team spot,” explained the 34-year-old.

“I think we were a bit slight on that last year, to be honest, with not having a proper pre-season, a few lads having injuries and things like that.

He went on to say: “We needed to boost ourselves and I think we’ve done that.”

There are a number of players who plied their trade at Borough Park last term who won’t be with us in 2021/22, and Grainger discussed three of them.

“Louis Potts, Jay Kelly and Jordan Holt have all left the club to move on to pastures new and we wish them all the very best,” he said before elaborating.

“Being young lads, we couldn’t guarantee them the game time for their own development and that’s something we spoke to them about.

He affirmed: “They’re all good lads and they represented the club really well whenever called upon, and we wish them all the very best.

“I want to see them kick on and have bright futures in the game, so fingers crossed they can do that.”

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