Batley Bulldogs will look to continue building momentum ahead of the new Championship season when Wakefield Trinity visit Mount Pleasant in their first home pre-season game on Sunday (kick off 2pm).
It is another important fixture coming on the back of Batley’s 28-16 derby victory over Dewsbury Rams on Boxing Day and the Bulldogs have three further warm-up games before the big kick off at Rochdale Hornets on February 4.
Wakefield thrashed Batley’s Championship rivals Halifax 62-0 last Sunday, in a game which saw winger Tom Johnstone grab a hat-trick of tries on his return from injury.
Former Batley prop Keegan Hirst also featured in that game but Wakefield boss Chris Chester looks set to ring the changes and field several of Trinity’s promising younger players against Batley.
Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin admits he is not concerned which side Trinity send and is determined his side focus on what they have been doing in training.
Diskin said: “We are in good shape and this is another opportunity for us to develop what we have been doing in pre season.
“We may rest one or two players as we have three (more) friendlies and we don’t want people becoming fatigued.
“Most Super League clubs don’t respect the Championship and I fully expect (Wakefield) will send a fringe team and give their academy lads a run out.
“I’m not worried about them and Sunday is about us putting into practice and fine tuning what we have done in training.”
Alex Bretherton, Brad Day and Sam Smeaton remain on the injury list and are unlikely to be risked against Trinity, with Diskin set to name the squad last night.
Isaac Farrell has been training with Batley ahead of his season long loan with the Bulldogs but he remains a full-time contracted player with Huddersfield and could be given a run out in Leroy Cudjoe’s testimonial game against Dewsbury Rams this Sunday.
Diskin added: “Isaac has been training with us regularly but we have to smart manage him as he is still full-time but he adds depth and quality to our half-backs.”
Batley have cut admission prices to Sunday’s game to £10 for adults and just £1 for children.
Batley’s remaining pre-season games are away to Keighley Cougars (January 21) and Doncaster (January 28).
Batley have meanwhile signed exciting young Centre Lewis Galbraith from Rochdale Hornets.
Galbraith featured 16 times for Rochdale in 2016, having previously spent two years playing in Australia for Sarina Crocodiles Lewis.
The 23-year-old started 27 times for the Hornets last year and made a further appearance from the bench and scored seven tries.
Batley were among a number of clubs chasing Galbraith and coach Diskin is delighted to have captures his signature.
He said: “Lewis is an exciting young player who will fit superbly. He’s an outstanding athlete with great agility and a great addition to the squad”