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Westwood believes the best is yet to come from Warrington Wolves' current squad
SUPPORTERS have not seen the best of this Warrington Wolves team yet.
That is the view of Man of Steel contender Ben Westwood as the paint dries on a fourth successive silverware year that ended with Grand Final defeat on October 6.
And he holds that belief even without any new signings expected for 2013 - which would be a first for Warrington in the Super League era.
“I think there’s lots of improvement in everybody,” said the back row powerhouse, who is missing this autumn’s international series with England to have a groin injury fixed by surgery.
“We’ve improved this year and with there not being many changes and having more or less the same squad next year I think it gives us chance to improve as a group again.”
Although the Challenge Cup winners are losing the services of David Solomona and Matty Blythe next year, Westwood feels that another pre-season campaign under the belts of some of the quality youngsters that ratched up Super League experience over the past eight months will produce even better performances.
“We’ve got players who have made their debuts this year having been brought through the club’s system,” he said, highlighting two of the Grand Final winning under 20s pack stars.
“I think Ben Currie will get more games next year and Brad Dwyer also.
“The future’s looking promising with more good young players coming through.
“Hopefully this year has been a massive learning curve for our young players and they’ll take what they’ve learnt into next season.”
Stefan Ratchford, who has just completed his first season with Wolves and is now enjoying the rewards with a senior England call-up, agrees with his experienced teammate.
“With only a couple of lads leaving, the majority of the squad is sticking together and we can only benefit from that and hopefully go one better in Super League next year.
“Even though we lost to Leeds at Old Trafford, the whole experience was incredible and I want more of it.
“When you look back we had a good season, winning the Challenge Cup and reaching the Grand Final. With the players we have at Warrington we can only get better and we will push again next year.”
Ben Harrison has regained his place in the England senior squad after a strong 2012 and he sees the improvement continuing too.
“Step by step we’ve developed as a team,” he said.
“We got knocked out in the play-offs, then made it to our first semi final and then this year the Grand Final.
“For the development of the players, the experience of playing in the Grand Final can only be a positive for us and I’m sure it will be leading into 2013.”