Diskin can create a Bulldogs legacy

Will Maher will be a great asset to Matt Diskins squad having joined Batley Bulldogs on a season long loan deal from Super League side Castleford Tigers.
Will Maher will be a great asset to Matt Diskins squad having joined Batley Bulldogs on a season long loan deal from Super League side Castleford Tigers.

Incoming Batley coach Matt Diskin believes he can create a legacy at the club and turn the Bulldogs into regular top four challengers.

Diskin joined Batley at the start of November and has thoroughly enjoyed his first few weeks in his first post as a head coach,

Diskin said: “Its been good to get out on the field. Doing the prep work is important but it’s always nice to get out there and get messages across to the players.”

Batley managed to keep the majority of last season’s squad, who defied the odds to secure a top-four finish in the Kingstone Press Championship and qualify for the Middle Eights stage of the competition.

The 34-year-old has added quality to Batley’s ranks with the signings of hooker or half-back Tom Holmes, forward Will Maher and back Jy Hiscox on season-long loan deals from Super League side Castleford Tigers.

Batley have also brought influential second row man Dane Manning back to the club, plucking him from Championship rivals Halifax.

Full-back Dave Scott was given extra time off following his Four Nations duties with Scotland but has teamed back up with the squad as Batley aim to build on their magnificent campaign.

Diskin added: “It was always going to be difficult to keep the squad together after last season, with players attracting interest from elsewhere.

“I’m conscious of the dual reg system and don’t like it when players come in and out and they are unable to get continuity.

“We wanted to negate that and have managed to bring in the three quality players.”

The Castleford trio will spend the entire pre-season with Batley as Diskin brings his own philosophies and routines to the club.

The coach added: “There was a perception from some that Batley were punching above their weight last season and everybody outside the club probably thought they had some fortune and luck (to finish in the top four).

“Can I gurantee a top four finish every year? Probably not but my aim is to create a legacy here and bring a perception that Batley can challenge for the top four every year.

“This is a well run club, not just on the coaching side, but with the work Kevin (Nichols) and Paul (Harrison) have put in over a number of years.

“Batley are well thought of locally and regionally.”