Even though Workington Town twice missed-out on promotion last season the overall feeling was of satisfaction at a job well done.

A year earlier they hadn’t even made the play-offs after a season of consolidation after their relegation from the Championship.

So to come from that starting point to reach the play-offs, and then earn a second chance against the odds, was a sound start to Leon Pryce’s coaching career.

On paper Town did not appear to have that strong a squad, but they don’t play rugby league on paper and it is a credit to Pryce’s coaching ability that they finished as high as they did.

Indeed it’s possible they might have even squeezed a promotion spot when third place came into the equation through one of those bizarre decisions which Rugby League have become infamous for making.

But the club was desperately short of players through injuries and holidays – and on this occasion you couldn’t blame players for booking to go away as it was after the scheduled original finish of the season.

They actually put up a brave effort against Swinton Lions, who retained their place in the Championship as a result of the win, and left Town happy enough to contest League One again in 2018.

The general feeling was that it might have just been a bit soon to reach the Championship. Progress had been made, with good consolidation and the right sort of recruitment suggests they will be in a position to challenge next time round.

Pryce admitted he had made mistakes in his first coaching job at a time when he didn’t really know League One.

Big name recruits Jamie Foster, Jordan Tansey and Scott Leatherbarrow didn’t last long but two other ex-Super League players in Sean Penkywitcz and Oliver Wilkes were unqualified successes.

Although a former Great Britain international, who played at the top for a long time, Pryce also admitted he was learning all the time in his new environment.

Perhaps his biggest disappointments over the season were two derby defeats to the old enemy Whitehaven – last gasp affairs settled each time by touchline conversions with the last kick of the game. Town had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on both occasions.

But that was countered by home and away victories against Bradford Bulls who gained revenge in the play-off final to clinch the second promotion place behind York City Knights.

The fact that Town achieved that memorable double, losing 27-8 in the play-off decider, was still a major plus for the season.

After finishing fourth they had also gone to Doncaster, who were a place above them in the final table, and scored an excellent 30-18 victory.

It was a big finish to the season by Town, especially when they had an injury restricted squad, and there was little doubt that the match at Swinton was a game too far for them.

Town will expect to push on and establish themselves as promotion contenders right from the off when they open the new campaign at Oldham on February 17.

They have certainly made a statement with their recruitment of Danny Tickle, a vastly experienced former Super League player who was playing regularly in the top-flight last season with Hull KR. His know-how and leadership will provide key components for a Town promotion push and with at least one more ex-Super League player expected to be joining the Pryce revolution, a big season is in prospect.