Wakefield Trinity PDRL Head Coach, Lee Whiteley wants the opportunity to thank everyone associated with this season’s PDRL side, after they reached a second consecutive Grand Final in 2021.
Following two draws in their opening two fixtures, Trinity PDRL picked up the first win of the season at home to arch-rivals, Leeds Rhinos, setting them well on their way to another very successful season.
After a string of important results against some quality sides, Trinity found themselves second in the league standings, right on Warrington’s tails.
“It is a bit of a mixed bag for me,” Lee explained, looking back on 2021.
“We did supremely well to get to the final for the second time, but just came up short against a quality Warrington outfit, who had the ability to call on a much bigger squad on the day.”
After being founded a few years back, Trinity has been no stranger to success, reaching 2019’s centre-piece event at Old Trafford, following this up two years later in York.
It wasn’t to be, though, but despite Grand Final heartbreak, Whiteley is immensely proud of how his side applied themselves in 2021, especially after a year out.
“The whole of our group has conducted themselves fantastically both on and off the field,” he said.
“They are genuinely the most inspirational group of people I have had the pleasure to be involved with.”
A strong campaign at club level reaped rewards, and in November, three Trinity players struck international gold, being called up to Shaun Briscoe’s preliminary England Community Lions PDRL squad.
Even after a year with no Rugby, selections like this thrust the club into the spotlight, showing how far the team has come since its introduction.
“I have to agree that having three internationals – at this point – is superb and shows the levels that we are competing at,” Whiteley followed.
“I am biased, I know, but I could quite easily make a case for everyone in our group to be selected.
“For the lucky ones that have – If I could offer any advice, it would be that you are making history with every step, so make them count and enjoy every moment.”
With Covid not causing too much of a problem with this year’s campaign, 2022 proves to be a big year for PDRL Rugby League, especially with a World Cup on the horizon.
However, with all the ups and downs that 2021 has brought, Whiteley would like to thank all the players and staff for their continued and dedicated support.
“Words do not do this justice but thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be part of this fantastic group of people.
“We have grown as a group throughout a global pandemic, let’s continue the great work we have already got in the bank and see if we can go one step further next time out.
“The most important thing for me is that we enjoy what’s next, and if we happen to win by accident whilst doing it, that would be a bonus.
“On another note, pre-season starts soon, so have a lovely Christmas and New Year with your families and get ready for some ‘light sessions’ in January.”
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