The hard work starts now - Thornton | Dons sign Hedges

Gary Thornton

Gary Thornton

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The curtain may have come down on Doncaster RLFC’s ill-fated Championship campaign at Whitehaven on Saturday night but head coach Gary Thornton’s work is still not done.

“In some aspects this time of the year is one of the busiest for a coach,” said Thornton.

“You have to complete your squads - and I’m hoping to add another three players - and also start making arrangements for pre-season and such like.

“I’m planning to bring the squad together in the middle of next month to introduce them to each other and the coaching staff and to give them an off-season training programme ahead of starting pre-season around the third week in November.”

Thornton will also be paying particular interest to the forthcoming League One play-offs.

“In view of the fact that we will be playing at that level next season the League One play-offs are more relevant to us than the Championship Shield play-offs,” he said.

Thornton, who is hoping to play two Super League clubs, a Championship club and a rival League One club in pre-season, has confirmed he will not be making any changes to his backroom team.

“I think the four of us - Andrew Vincent and Pete Bell, who were already here, and Pete Green and I all get on pretty well,” he said.

“I’m really happy the club decided to bring Pete (Green) in when I took over as he’s been fantastic.

“He’s going to be a very good coach. He’s been around a lot of good people and worked in good environments.

“He’s also very honest and he’s been a great help to me since I’ve been here.”

Dons yesterday announced the signing of Jordie Hedges from NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Hedges can play in either of the half back positions or at full-back.

“Jordie is a very exciting player, he can play at 6, 7 and full-back,” Thornton told the club’s website.

“He has had a great year with a top side in South Sydney and I believe this signing shows just how seriously we are taking League One next season.”