Calderdale College sides make a winning start

A hooker and a half back top Karl Harrison’s close-season shopping list - but the Halifax coach admits he may need to be patient.

Harrison is trying to fill the void left by the departure of captain and frontline number nine Sean Penkywicz to Leigh.

That move left him with just two out-and-out playmakers in Anthony Thackeray and Paul Handforth, although utility men Craig Ashall, Callum Casey and Anthony Bowman can all slot in at half back or hooker.

“We need to find people of the right quality for this club,” said Harrison.

“At the moment, that is proving difficult and it’s not for lack of trying on our part.

“We’re probably looking for a hooker and another half back, perhaps one experienced player and one younger player we feel we can improve and develop.

“We thought we had someone lined up but that deal fell through, so at the moment we’re looking and waiting.

“How long will we wait? We have to wait and wait until the right person comes up, there is absolutely no point in diving in and signing someone for the sake of it.

“But the players we have in those positions impact on the way we train and the way we coach this winter, so it’s something we will keep working hard on.”

Harrison confirmed that one possible solution, Wakefield’s former Championship Player of the Year Andy Ellis, had been targeted, but instead chose to return to Featherstone, where he had a successful loan spell this year.

“Absolutely we were in for Andy Ellis,” said Harrison.

“We made him a very substantial offer that would have put him in the very top echelon of earners at the club.

“But we were told it wasn’t as substantial as the offer he received from Featherstone and he chose to go there.”