BATLEY BULLDOGS coach Matt Diskin has set out a goal for his side to become the best part time club in the country during 2018.
Batley begin their Championship campaign in one month’s time and have three pre-season fixtures during January for them to fine tune their preparations.
The Bulldogs will face four full-time clubs in the Championship with Leigh Centurions relegated from Super League last year and big spending Toronto Wolfpack promoted to the Championship.
Batley’s historic trip to Canada will be on July 14 but, as with League One clubs last season and Championship clubs in 2018, there will be the logistics of arranging travel to players, backroom staff and supporters.
Diskin believes Batley, along with the other part time Championship clubs, are not competing on a level playing field with their full-time counterparts but is adamant the Bulldogs have a good chance of challenging to become the best part time club in the division.
Diskin said: “When you have got a league with four full-time teams in, that will be your top four.
“Its an unfair league having full-time and part time teams but after them it is pretty open for anyone else.
“Should we be competing against full-time teams? No we shouldn’t. We will be trying our damnedest but the budgets and luxuries they have got, we haven’t and our goal is to be the best part time team in the country.
“We have a tough start to the season, especially at the time when everyone has full squads and teams who are raring to go.
“Teams are going to want to start flying in Rochdale and Swinton and then you put Leigh into the mix as well, it is a very tough start for us.”
Batley defeated neighbours Dewsbury Rams 28-16 in their first warm-up match on Boxing Day and face three further pre-season friendlies before beginning their Championship season away to Rochdale Hornets on February 4.
Batley take on Super League side Wakefield Trinity on January 14 in their next pre-season game, before facing trips to Keighley Cougars (January 21) and Doncaster (January 28).
Batley face a gruelling start to the Championship season with their opening three matches away in Lancashire with trips to Leigh and Swinton Lions to follow their opening day clash at Rochdale.