WATERHEAD WARRIORS’ young coach Dave Orwell is aiming high for their National Conference League, division three campaign that kicks off this month.
And the 25-year-old, the youngest coach in any of the four divisions, will be leading from the front in a bid to help make his dreams come true as he is returning to playing.
“I want us to be in the top three this season, something that I believe is attainable,” explained the former Huddersfield Giants’ prop forward whose pro career was ended aged 21 through a broken leg.
Orwell, who is starting his second season as coach, is keen to resume playing. He expects to be given the all-clear this month following major surgery to rebuild his shoulder having last played for Waterhead 18 months ago.
It has been a traumatic time for Warriors as back-to-back relegations saw them plummet from division one to three. And last season they were flirting with having to seek re-election before finishing fourth bottom.
Orwell believes better times are ahead declaring: “Last season we had to play a lot of our under-18s and they had never played open-age rugby before. It was good experience and invaluable for their development.
He says last season Warriors competed well against the top teams which is why he is confident they can be challenging at the top as opposed to battling at the foot of the table.
“We have also had a good six weeks pre-season, something we didn’t have last season, and that ought to stand us in good stead,” explained Orwell who believes the young crop of players will be a real force in two or three years’ time.
There has been another lift as experienced scrum-half Terry Fitzgerald has decided to delay his retirement for another year.
As Orwell is playing again, he will have two assistants, James Campbell and Matthew Barron who will act as his eyes on the sidelines.
Club chairman Mick Slicker snr describes the senior side as “work in progress” but says the juniors are flourishing.
That was underlined by two of their youngsters signing for Super League clubs, Liam Aspin (Warrington Wolves) and Harry Maders (Salford Red Devils).
Mr Slicker said: “Our problem is that we are creating too many good players and it is coming back to bite us when we lose them.
“It is great we can help them fulfil their dreams, but we also want them to stay and make us strong in the future.”
Mr Slicker added Warriors are especially strong at under 15, 16 and 18 level which in encouraging for the future well-being of the club.