Boss Kear aiming to end tenure on a high

BATLEY BULLDOGS coach John Kear is hoping to end his time at the club on a high this weekend.

His side welcome big-spending Salford to Mount Pleasant on Sunday and he is hoping to see his team confine the Red Devils to relegation in what will be his final game in charge of the Bulldogs.

The Lancashire side come to Batley knowing that they have to win to ensure they claim a place in the ‘Million Pound Game’.

“They are playing for more than trophies or medals, they are playing for their jobs,” said Kear.

“They are going to come ready to play and we have to make sure we match their intensity.

“It is my last game as well as a few of the players – it will be the last time we will be together as a group so we have to make sure that our performance does us justice.”

The former Sheffield, Hull FC and Wakefield coach will return to Belle Vue in 2017 in a director of rugby role.

In his final season he has led Batley to third in the Championship table – their highest finish of the summer era – and has seen his side play the likes of Leeds and Huddersfield in recent weeks.

Kear hopes the experience will stand his side in good stead for the future.

He said: “The players have learnt a lot playing against these sides on a regular basis.

“We have come up against Super League sides in the Challenge Cup before and given them a scare but we have had seven weeks at this intensity.

“Six of the seven sides we have faced have been full-time and the experience has helped develop them not just as players but as individuals as well.

“If they make the top four again next year I think they will be ready for it and put in some good performances.”

Kear will leave the club after five years in charge to take on his new role and he believes the club is in good hands with former Leeds Rhinos and Bradford hooker Matt Diskin taking the reins.

“There are some good players here, the club is financially secure and hopefully they can improve on this year’s performance,” he said.

“I’ve personally had five great years here with some ups and downs but a hell of a lot more ups.

“It will be emotional but everything has to come to an end.”

Kear has no fresh injury worries going into the game against Salford and is hopeful loose forward Luke Blake could return from a groin strain.

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