PROFESSIONAL rugby league players heading back to their old junior clubs is not an uncommon sight these days.

Warrington Wolves are making more of a point of improving relations with the town’s amateur clubs, with first-team players often turning up to coach junior teams.

Danny Walker – Warrington born-and-bred – does his fair share and this year, he is taking things one step further.

He has taken up a first-team coaching role at Crosfields, for whom he played as a junior along with Rylands Sharks.

The Hood Lane side were 80 minutes from promotion to Division One of the National Conference League last year only to fall at the final hurdle – a play-off final defeat to Hull Dockers.

Alongside head coach Ian Boden, the hooker is plotting Soap’s bid to go one step further.

“I enjoy my coaching – I used to do a bit down at Rylands as well,” he said.

“The amateur scene did a lot for me. It’s important to remember that.

“I always enjoy going back down to Crosfields and Rylands and giving something back.

“My brother plays at Crosfields and he asked if I wanted to go down and help out.

“I thought I’d pull my finger out, get down there and help them out as much as I can.”

Walker gives up his Wednesday evenings to lead training at the University of Chester’s Padgate campus and intends to be at as many matchdays as his Wire first-team schedule allows.

Being only 20, he is significantly younger than most of his squad including older brother Luke, who plays in the outside backs.

However, he is taking it all in his stride.

“It is a bit weird coaching my older brother,” he admits.

“But Luke takes it well and he does listen to me – I’ve not had to pull him into line yet!”

Walker hopes giving the players the benefit of his professional experience will show on the pitch – and the early signs are encouraging.

Neighbours Woolston Rovers were beaten in the Warrington Cup Final on February 15 in a match the new coach admits they were underdogs for.

However, as part of a Wolves squad that defied all odds to stun heavily-favoured St Helens in last year’s Challenge Cup Final, that is nothing new to him.

While his contribution that day may have amounted only to gleefully emptying a bucket of water over Steve Price’s head at full time, Walker knows all about harnessing that underdog mentality.

“Everyone wrote us off,” he said of the 24-16 cup final win for his new charges at Victoria Park.

“We were hearing things about the numbers Woolston were having at training.

“We’d lost a few decent players but I said to the boys it was like us in the Challenge Cup Final.

“We were being written off but we went out there and did the job.

“Who knows this year, if we keep getting good numbers at training we’ll see where we can take it.

“Amateur rugby league is all about enjoying the game. That’s what we want and if we can pick up a few wins along the way, then even better.”

Soap open their league season with a trip to Bradford Dudley Hill on Saturday, kick off 2.30pm.

New players are still welcome at Crosfields training, which is every Wednesday evening at the University of Chester Padgate campus between 7pm and 8pm.