NORTH WALES CRUSADERS assistant coach Jonny Leather is hopeful of progress this season following a positive start to the year.

Leather joined the Crusaders coaching staff alongside head coach Mike Grady at the beginning of the 2017 season, and says that he’s enjoying his time at the club: “I’m now into my second year coaching and feel I have learnt a lot in a short period of time.

“It has been great too be part of such a proud club that is run by a group of fantastic volunteers who do a great job week in week out.”

With the 2018 season now underway, Leather also touched on pre-season: “Pre-Season went really well, we decided not to start too early because it is a long season with the new format.

“We had a mixture of field, weights, circuits and individual challenges to get the boys at a level to be able to compete with the best teams in this league.”

Speaking about some of the new signings which have arrived into the squad this year, Leather said: “The new lads seem to have settled quite well.

“We have a good set of lads who seem too have a good bond and great banter between themselves.

“The lads that were already here have welcomed all the new boys in really well.”

Leather added: “The quality we have in the squad is a lot healthier this season.

“The strength in depth is also something we focused on to prevent us from being in situations we found ourselves in last season.

“We now have players fighting for various positions which can only be a good thing.

“We don’t have any long-term goals, we are just taking it week by week and looking to improve as individuals and collectively as a squad.”

Following last Sunday’s 28-24 victory over Keighley Cougars, Leather believes that it could prove to be a big confidence boost for the side: “The Challenge Cup victory is obviously massive for various reasons.

“Firstly, you try to win every game and after last week we wanted to put certain things right.

“Secondly, it is for the fans who turn up week on week, and finally as a club we want to progress as far as possible in the cup and are hoping we get to welcome a big side to the Queensway.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s Betfred League One clash away to Workington Town, Leather said: “Workington have always been a really tough team to play against especially at their own ground.

“They have a similar sized pitch to us, so our plan and structures won’t need to change much this week – we just need to focus on our own performances and perform as we did in the second-half last weekend.”