Rams coach spells out his demands
MEMBERS of the Dewsbury Rams squad have received a letter in the past few days, not from the tax man, but from a far more threatening source – coach Warren Jowitt.
While Jowitt is across the Channel for a month in his role as assistant coach to the French international side, he has made sure the Dewsbury players are aware of their responsibilities during the close season.
During his absence, assistant coach Matt Walker and club president Jack Addy are keeping an eye on the playing side of things and the coach spoke to chairman Mark Sawyer this week to confirm things were still moving smoothly.
Jowitt said: “They have all had letters outlining what I expect them to do during the break and what they will be tested on when they report for pre-season training.
“Players usually look after themselves these days, even during the close season. They are good professionals, in any case if they don’t look after themselves and they fail the tests, there is always the F Troop.”
This is, of course, the group, who are condemned to extra hard work in training to encourage them to get up to the required standard.
The Rams, who have also signed young half-back Johnny Horton, from Bradford Bulls, have an eye on another good local prospect but are unlikely to make any firm move until Jowitt returns. In the meantime he is satisfield with the strength of his squad for next term.
The threat of The F Troop will be new to many of the Rams’s latest recruits, including Michael Wainwright and Rob Roberts, while Jake Wilson, who has joined from Hunslet, will be aware of Jowitt’s tough stance from his previous time at Tetley’s Stadium.
Mr Sawyer has met officials of the Rugby Football League to discuss their salary cap for next season and the budget plans appeared to meet their requirements, although official confirmation has yet to be received. The number of players on guaranteed money has been reduced by half.
However, some other Co-operative Championship clubs may not be so fortunate and there is concern about a number in Championship One, with Whitehaven already deducted nine points for next year. Mr Sawyer also said the signs were that the number of players filtering down from Super League would drop.
The Rams are staging a wedding fayre at Tetley’s Stadium on Sunday, from 11am to 3pm, when admission is free and there will be a raffle for a designer wedding dress.
Such functions provide valuable extra income and the club are hoping that other individuals or firms will take advantage of what are very good facilities, including parking.
Jowitt said he was thoroughly enjoying his stay in France and added that the hospitality was excellent. He added: “The players eat healthily, have some very good attitudes and work particularly hard in training, it promises to be a great experience.
“The problem is we have the players for only a week to prepare for the European Championship while I am used to having Dewsbury players for two or three months of pre-season work.
“Fortunately a couple of the lads speak English so I am able to get my ideas across regarding working on the defence, while (head coach) Bobbie Goulding concentrates on the attacking side of things.”
The French squad contains a base of some five players from Super League club Catalans Dragons but the rest are mainly from Championship club Toulouse and particularly the French competition.
The French began their league season with a Magic Weekend type programme with three games last Saturday and four on Sunday and Jowitt and Bobbie Goulding watched them all.
Jowitt said he felt the level in France was about Championship One standard but added: “There are one or two good young players but it is difficult for them to really come through. But they are prepared to listen and learn and that’s encouraging.”
Dewsbury Rams’ Matthew Fox has been included in Ireland’s squad for the European Cup games with France, Scotland and Wales.