Bulldogs aim to give Kear perfect send off

Keegan Hirst will play his final game for Batley when the Bulldogs take on Salford Red Devils on Sunday.

Keegan Hirst will play his final game for Batley when the Bulldogs take on Salford Red Devils on Sunday.

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Batley Bulldogs will aim to give coach John Kear the perfect send off when they host Salford Red Devils in their final game of the season on Sunday.

Kear brings down the curtain on a magnificent five year tenure at the club, while captain Keegan Hirst plays his final game for the Bulldogs before both join Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

It looks set to be an emotional day at Mount Pleasant as Kear plots another upset.

Kear said: “Batley have not beaten a Super League team since I have been here. It would be a dream to do that and the perfect way to say goodbye.

“Looking at my tenure it is great what has been achieved as a club and a team and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

“There have certainly been more ups than downs and I am confident we will play well this week.”

There are added incentives for Batley as victory would guarantee them a seventh place finish in the Middle Eights, which would be worth an additional £50,000 to the club in prize money.

Victory for Batley would also see Salford relegated to the Championship if London defeat Featherstone Rovers.

Kear added: “Salford are staring down the barrel of a gun but I would love the people of Batley to come out and applaud our team on what has been a fantastic season.”

Batley look set to be boosted by the return of hooker Luke Blake, who missed last Saturday’s trip to Super League bound Leigh Centurions with a groin injury.

Kear will leave the club following Sunday’s game and takes up his post with Wakefield after coaching the Welsh national side in Autumn’s World Cup qualifiers.

Kear added: “I am not one for prolonged goodbyes and a lot were said at out presentation but I will be saying goodbye to the players privately.”

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