LAST week, we held a Q&A session at the Raiders Bar where Paul Crarey and I fielding questions from our supporters. I think it is vital the club remains transparent and that our fans are allowed to feel part of the direction we are travelling.

I think being transparent has allowed the public to get a better understanding of all the hard work that is going on behind the scenes. More than ever, our fantastic supporters and sponsors are coming forward with offers of help, either monetary or offering time, and I think they are really buying in to what we are trying to achieve.

The four years that Paul has been in charge has seen progress year on year and it is now that the fans can perhaps see better times ahead. I keep using the word “buzz”, but I honestly believe there is a real sense of anticipation for the new season and there is said buzz in the air.

The board have lots of ideas for improvement over both the short and medium term, but we have to make sure we don’t create financial stress. What I think we have done is put together a really exciting team which will get the backing of our fans. The next stage is put initiatives in place to get more supporters through the turnstiles.

Recruiting a team capable of competitive rugby is one part of that process, greater engagement is another. Increasing the profile of our club and our players is very important to me, as is getting our club out there helping the community. The most important key performance indicator for me will be the size of the crowds. If we can increase them significantly then I know all the hard work we have been doing will be worthwhile. I’m greedy though; if we start to get 2,000 then I want 3,000 and I always want to keep improving in this direction.

We were asked questions about what we want to achieve on the field. We have to be realistic. There are still full-time teams in Widnes, Toronto and Toulouse, and clubs with much higher budgets around the top like Featherstone and Halifax. Add Bradford and York, who are vibrant clubs very much on the up, and you have to move forward just to stand still.

I’ve said to Paul that I think we have got the squad to be competitive in most games. The number one aim is survival and to be an established mid-table team is probably the height of our ambitions for now.

We want our progress to be budgeted and sustainable. If we can work on the gates then the year after will promise further improvements with further investment in the team as well as the infrastructure. It won’t be 100 per cent team to the detriment of the club.

Oh, and a trip to Wembley would be nice!