Bulldogs target new brand of rugby under new boss Diskin

BATLEY BULLDOGS head coach Matt Diskin has revealed he wants his side to play a more attractive brand of rugby in 2017 as the club aims for a repeat of last season’s success in reaching the Qualifiers.

Diskin’s men are already two weeks into their pre-season schedule and the Bulldogs boss is delighted with the impression his players have left on him so far.

“I’ve introduced some new systems and new ideas in training and the players have really bought into them,” said Diskin.

“The lads have given it their all since returning to training and they look really eager, which has impressed me.

“From the short time I’ve been working with them I can see they have a lot of skill with the ball in hand and I want to try and utilise that next season.

“I’m not taking anything away from how the team played last season, at the end of the day results are what matter the most, but I do feel that we can win matches next year by playing a more attractive brand of rugby and in doing so will hopefully score more tries.

“We have some big friendlies lined up in pre-season and hopefully we can prove to fans in those games that our hard work in training is paying off.”

But before intensive training begins with the ball Diskin knows his first job is to get his players in peak physical condition.

Diskin, who is hoping to add one more player to his side in the coming weeks, added: “The majority of the squad have returned in decent condition and have kept to their off-season programme’s which is reassuring and means our pre-season can progress at a good pace.

“If the players get to the right levels of fitness quickly then we can start going into more intensive training with the ball earlier as well, which should hopefully prepare us for what is going to be a really tough season.”

But besides pushing his players to their limits in training Diskin acknowledges the importance of looking after his players’ welfare.

The former Leeds and Bradford star was in Liverpool with his squad last week where they benefited from the use of a DEXA scan, which measures bone density.

Diskin added: “Everyone except the players on international duty were present because it’s important the players undergo screening of this sort.

“The key to a successful season is making sure the players remain fit, and if they’re unlucky enough to suffer injuries we want them to recover as quickly as possible. A DEXA scan helps me and the medical team determine potential weak spots the players may have and also helps us manage them accordingly to prevent any long-term injuries.”

• Batley have four friendlies lined up, starting with the traditional Boxing Day derby.

All the games are at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

Monday 26th December 2016 – KO 12pm v Dewsbury Rams.

Sunday 15th January 2017 – KO 2pm v Bradford Bulls.

Sunday 22nd January 2017 – KO 2pm v Keighley Cougars.

Friday 27th January 2017 – KO 7.30pm v Castleford Tigers.

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