Batley close in on fresh new signing

Batley close in on fresh new signing

CRAIG LINGARD says that Batley Bulldogs are closing in on another signing to add to their squad, with another hooker the top priority ahead of the start of pre-season.

Batley have assembled a 22-man squad so far, including seven new arrivals, while a further four players will join on trial in the coming weeks.

The position in which the club are most light is at hooker, with Alistair Leak the only recognised number nine currently on the roster.

Lingard admits that filling this gap is his main focus as he continues a patient search for any further recruits.

“We’re still in discussions with a couple of people,” he said. “We’re in a fairly decent situation with the squad size that we’ve got that we can be a bit selective now with who we bring in.

“We are in talks with a couple of people and these discussions have been going on for a while now, certainly with one of the players. But because they’re of a quality that I think they will improve the team, other teams are after them as well. 

“We definitely need another hooker so we’re in discussions with a couple of people in that department. We’re certainly hopeful that we can get one of them over the line.”

Pre-season training starts on November 12 but a number of players are already working on their fitness with Paul Royston, their new head of performance, and assistant coach Mark Barlow.

Lingard said: “We’ve already started voluntary sessions, we’ve had lads coming down on Tuesday and Thursday doing gym sessions with Paul Royston.”

Beyond the traditional Boxing Day derby clash with Dewsbury, there are no pre-season fixtures in place yet, but Lingard says the club are hoping to have some Super League opposition.

“We’re looking at trying to get three friendlies in January, a couple at home and probably one away I would have thought,” he said. 

“Paul Harrison is ringing round quite a few clubs and we’ve got a couple of Super League clubs that are potentially interested in a friendly.”

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