Added pressure taking over the champions, says Saints boss Woolf

Super League champions Saints
Super League champions Saints

New Saints boss Kristian Woolf is fully expecting a little extra pressure being placed on his shoulders after taking over the coaching reins of Super League champions St Helens.

It goes with the territory and is one of the most demanding jobs in the 13-a-side code.

Back-to-back League Leaders' Shield successes followed by Grand Final glory early last month is the benchmark for the 44-year-old Quenslander to follow but he is relishing the task surrounding his first permanent job as a no1.

Woolf, who has signed a two year deal with an option of a further 12 months at the helm, told the club web site: “Being champions does add pressure and there’s an expectation of success but that is all part of the challenge and something I am looking forward to.''

He went on: “There’s not a lot which needs altering and a case of when it's not broken, don't change it. A lot of things are being done well here already and the same staff are still in place.

“They also come with really good reputations and people can’t speak highly enough of their contribution. I'm definitely looking forward to working along side them to follow on from the success of this year, but what we have to do is find ways to be a little better than we were last season because the competition is going to be tougher.

“Clubs like Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Leeds Rhinos and Catalans Dragons have recruited well. The competition is going to be stronger but at the same time things are not broken so it is a case of building on what is here.”

Woolf is fully aware of the club's history and success and says he is determined to make sure it continues.

He added: “I’d like to think we are going to bring a really tough brand of footy - one that follows on from the attacking tradition.

“A tough brand, where we are competing hard and winning the contests all the time. From what I see that is already part of St Helens but something I’d like to build on.”

Woolf also admitted he had always wanted to dip his toe in the waters of Super League and test his ability – and particularly at St Helens

“I have always had the desire to coach in Super League and test myself here.I watch a bit of Super League and realise it is a different style of football to what we play in the NRL

“To get that opportunity with a club like St Helens and its rich history is really appealing and I am looking forward to doing it,” he said.