Michael Burgess

Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

League: Elliott still targeting fresh blood

Todd Lowrie. Photo / Getty Images
Todd Lowrie. Photo / Getty Images

Matt Elliott expects the Warriors to make one or two further additions to their 2013 squad but is preaching patience as the best approach for the Auckland club.

When Elliott signed on as club boss in early October, much was made of the financial resources available to the new coach and the club's willingness to splash the cash, especially given the struggles of 2012 and the youthful nature of the squad.

So far, only former Titan utility Dominque Peyroux has been recruited, leaving many fans wondering when other names may arrive.

"I'd like to think we would have those players here by February or March but if we have to wait longer we will," Elliott told the Herald on Sunday. "The Bulldogs were a pretty good example of the patient approach [last season]. They waited and they got Sam Perrett and Krisnan Inu who ended up being major contributors to their success."

With strong depth in the pack, accentuated with Simon Mannering and Ben Henry now seen solely as forwards, Elliott is only looking at recruits in the backline.

"I think we are okay for forwards," says Elliott. "[In the backs] someone with a bit of versatility would be good, who could play across a couple of positions.

"In the halves we have got players there with a bit of versatility but I still think we are narrow there by one.

"Also in the outside backs, probably one more player would be good. It's not because we don't have the talent there - just because of the depth. That is what was tested last year."

While there are few free agents still on the market as squads are finalised across the NRL and pre-season kicks into gear, Elliott is confident that players will become available in the next few months.

"Every year I have been involved in the NRL, clubs are always looking to shift players before the start of the season," says Elliott.

"We have already been approached by clubs and we could have already got a half and an outside back in two months ago - but we have people here that offer plenty.

"It is all about waiting for the players that are the right fit.

"There is no use recruiting players that aren't as good as we have already got. They have got to be as good or slightly better and we want to have that competitive environment."

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n4 at 23 Sep 2014 11:38:20 Processing Time: 415ms