Batley Bulldogs are hoping for a bumper Boxing Day crowd when they welcome Dewsbury Rams to Mount Pleasant in two weeks.
Bulldogs fans are counting down the days until their first chance to see a host of new signings and with Dewsbury also having several new players in their ranks it should be a keenly contested clash.
A festive crowd of 2,346 saw Luke Blake’s late try snatch Batley a 10-4 win in last year’s Boxing Day clash but Dewsbury earned the bragging rights in both league encounters last season.
James Craven is one of eight Bulldogs who could figure against their former club as he looks forward to making his debut in the smart new-look Bulldogs strip.
Craven was presented with the number one jersey by coach John Kear at last Friday’s shirt launch as he replaces Miles Greenwood.
Keegan Hirst has proved a popular signing as he re-joins the Bulldogs following a stint at Featherstone Rovers and he will wear number 8 next season, while Cain Southernwood will take the number 6 shirt, vacated by Ben Black.
Full Bulldogs squad list: 1 James Craven, 2 Wayne Reittie, 3 Shaun Ainscough, 4 Ayden Faal, 5 Jonny Campbell, 6 Cain Southernwood, 7 Scott Leatherbarrow, 8 Keegan Hirst, 9.Anthony Nicholson 10 Alex Rowe, 11 Alex Bretherton, 12 Sam Scott, 13 Luke Blake, 14 Alistair Leak, 15 Adam Gledhill, 16 Sean Hesketh, 17 Joe Chandler, 18 Tom Lillycrop, 19 Lee Mitchell, 20 Shaun Squires, 21 James Brown, 22 Jordan Grayston, 23 Brad Day, 24 Brad Hey.
Bulldogs fans can buy replicas of the new look home shirt direct from manufacturers Ravensport.
John Roe will be signing copies of his book Sermons from the Mount at Ron’s Breakfast Club next Tuesday from 9.30am.
The book is priced £13.99 , published by Scratching Shed Publications, and is based on recollections from former Batley players and long standing supporters.