Talking sport - No reason to be down

So near but yet so far for Saints.
So near but yet so far for Saints.

The Super League season may have ended a little earlier than they had hoped but Saints - and the club’s army of fans - are already licking their lips at the prospects which lie ahead.

Many believe 2014 will signal the start of a new trophy-winning era at Langtree Park and base their confidence on the quality of players signed during the summer months.

Experienced campaigners like Tony Puletua and Francis Meli will be switching to pastures new and joining Dr Marwan Koukash’s red revolution at Salford, but this will be more than compensated by the arrival of Penrith Panthers duo, Luke Walsh and Mose Masoe, Kyle Amor from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Hull KR’s Richard Beaumont.

The latter trio are all prop forwards and will certaintly add spice to the competition for places up front.

But the stellar signing as far as I am concerned is the recruitment of Walsh who has played more than a century of games in the NRL, both Newcastle Knights and his present club.

Head coach Nathan Brown believes his fellow Aussie will be an exciting addition to the squad - a good organiser and possessing a great kicking game.

“We are always looking to improve the team and I’m sure Luke will contribute to that,” he told me recently.

It goes without saying that Saints have suffered from the lack of a genuine and creative half back all season - and this isn’t a commendation of the players who have filled the breach, like top quality professionals Jon Wilkin and Lance Hohaia.

Neither can claim to be a specialist half back but in the circumstances did more than an adequate job - and won’t shirk the responsibility if called on to do so in the future.

Brown has also hinted that a plethora of precocious young talent under his wings, including freescoring winger Adam Swift, Joe Greenwood, Luke Thompson, and Anthony Walker, will be given every opportunity to stake their claims for a first team berth.

Roll on next season!