IN part two of our Q&A with Warrington Wolves chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick, Guardian sports reporter Matt Turner asks him about recruitment in both the short, medium and long term.

> Read part one of the Q&A here

Here's what he had to say...

MT: There’s also been a lot of questions about the recruitment for this year. Can you take us through the process in terms of who heads it up and how it works?

KF: Ultimately, we sign the players the coach wants.

There will be discussions about who is available but Daryl has the final say as to who he wants.

Then, it’s up to us to go and make that happen.

MT: There was a particular focus on the pack and many saw it as an area of weakness going into this season.

In an ideal world, would you have more in there?

KF: The pack have come under a bit of criticism, which I understand.

They’re intelligent blokes, they know they’re not performing as well as they can but to be fair, performances are down across the board.

I think Daryl said at the fan’s forum before a ball had been kicked that there’s been questions about the pack, and they stood up and said “challenge accepted.”

Obviously, things haven’t gone as we’ve wanted in that respect. There’s some good players in there but there is room for improvement.

Warrington Guardian:

Joe Philbin and his front-row colleagues have come in for criticism this year. Picture by Mike Boden

MT: In terms of reinforcements for this year, is there room for manoeuvre there?

There are quota spots available but how flexible are you with the salary cap?

KF: At the moment, there’s no room to bring somebody in immediately.

Moving forward, there may be players who aren’t getting game time and get itchy feet to go out on loan, that could present opportunities.

We’re constantly monitoring the market both over here and overseas, but it is a difficult market. That’s why it’s important to produce your own players.

If you look at Saints, they are the benchmark and the nucleus of their side is players that have come through their system.

Dodd, Welsby, Makinson, Percival, Lomax, Lees, Roby, Knowles – real stalwarts of their team that have come through there and that’s where we have to get to.

That’s a longer-term project but we are seeing some budding shoots of that at the moment.

Going back to the question, there could be some manoeuvrability – there’s no cap space at the moment but if there’s players that want to go out on loan, they come off the cap and that could present opportunities.

MT: And I guess the process of recruitment for 2023 is ongoing, not just in terms of players coming in but with retention as well with quite a few first-team players off-contract?

KF: There are a lot of players off-contract and that can actually go in your favour at times, in terms of them fighting for a contract. Again, it presents opportunities.

With recruitment, you’re only allowed to sign players from May 1 but you’re monitoring the market 12 months in advance.

Because it’s such a difficult market, you’ve got to be strategic and you’ve got to be planned.

Daryl will decide which players he wants and we will make it work.

Warrington Guardian:

Gareth Widdop is one of the players off-contract at the end of the season. Picture by Mike Boden

MT: In terms of summing up it all up then, how do you see the rest of the season?

You’re out of the Challenge Cup so the sole focus is Super League. We’re seven rounds in so do you see the situation as still being totally retrievable?

KF: Absolutely.

We’re going through some growing pains at the moment but we’re very confident in our coach.

The players are hurting desperately and they want to put it right. They’re a bunch of proud lads and they’re really disappointed.

We’ve just been on a two-day camp to York where we’ve trained really hard but more importantly, we had some team meetings that were honest and had plenty of accountability.

Nobody’s shying away from this situation – myself, the coaches or the players – and there was honesty that I’ve probably not seen from a group like that in a while.

I think that’s a really positive step forward, but the acid test will be whether it improves on a game day.

I absolutely understand the fans’ frustrations, but we’re doing everything possible to improve.

MT: Looking further forward, the appointment of Gary Chambers as head of youth has been confirmed.

With him now in place alongside Richard Marshall and Tyrone McCarthy, there’s three people who are either Warrington-born or have a strong history with the club – both in the case of the latter two.

Was it important you had people with that kind of connection to the club and town in situ to take the academy forward?

KF: Absolutely, and I must say I thought Peter Riding and Paul Anderson did a great job from when they stepped in with the youth department.

These guys live and breath this club and I think they will take us to that next level.

There’s a lot of good things going on at this club – it’s not happening on the field at the moment but with the likes of Gary, Richard and Tyrone joining us, it’s going to have a really positive impact.

They’re embedded in the community, they go to community club games, they want to see Warrington players playing first-team rugby for this club.

I think Gary’s a great appointment. He’s tough and that’s what we need – we need tough kids coming through this system that are good enough to play first-team for this club.

With Gary on board and with Richard and Tyke in there too, I’m confident that will happen.

Warrington Guardian:

Gary Chambers is back as Warrington Wolves' new head of youth