DEWSBURY Rams have confirmed an additional two pre-season fixtures to follow the Boxing Day derby with Batley Bulldogs.
The Rams will travel to the John Smith’s Stadium on January 14 to take on Super League side Huddersfield Giants.
A week later, at the Tetley’s Stadium, Dewsbury will face Bradford Bulls in a testimonial game for captain Paul Sykes, who recently signed a one-year extension deal.
Head coach Neil Kelly believes the games will be ideal preparation for his side ahead of their 2018 Kingstone Press Championship campaign.
“Both games offer a really good challenge to the squad,” said Kelly.
“With one of the teams in a higher league and the other team in a lower league to us it will be a good test.
“A couple of weeks before the end of last season Bradford turned us over at home, so we know both games will offer a really big challenge.”
Kelly has been keen not to arrange too many pre-season games and is not planning on adding any more fixtures before the season is due to start in February.
He said: “The game against Batley and the two we have arranged in January are the only games I’m planning at the moment.
“I don’t see a situation arising where I would want to add to that, but I am not ruling it out just yet.”
The head coach’s current contract runs out at the end of 2018, but he has admitted that sorting out a deal is not something at the forefront of his mind.
“Me and Mark had a conversation a couple of months ago but I have not thought about it much,” added Kelly.
“Me and Mark need to get together and talk about it.”
Despite no further talks taking place Dewsbury chairman Mark Sawyer is confident that Kelly will sign an extension contract with the club.
Sawyer previously told The Press that the club have offered Kelly a deal that would see him stay with the Rams until the end of 2020.
And Sawyer firmly believes that he will stay on past 2018.
“We haven’t had a meet up since we offered him the deal, we thought it was best to give Neil a bit of time with players coming back for pre-season,” said Sawyer.
“I can’t see there being any issue with it.”
The Dewsbury chairman is pleased with how the club’s transfer business is going after Kelly added Billy Hayes and Rob Worrincy to his squad last week.
Sawyer says there is still money set aside as Kelly looks to bring in another forward before the start of the 2018 campaign.
He said: “We are looking to bring one more player in, more than likely a prop and there is money put aside in the budget for that.
“It is good to have Billy Hayes come back, he had a bit of an issue with injury last year and had played well for us until that, so it is great news he has come on board.
“Rob gives us a bit of cover on the wing, there were a few clubs chasing him so we are really pleased he has signed.”
In other news Dewsbury are holding a Christmas party on Friday, December 8, at 7.30pm. The evening has been organised by the Amber Ribbon supporters group and includes a buffet and live music. Supporters can purchase their tickets for £5 at the club reception.
The Rams are also holding a kit launch on Wednesday December 20 at 7.30pm.
The launch will be combined with a meet the players event where fans will get the chance to meet some of the club’s new signings. The 2018 home and away shirts will be unveiled before being put on sale in the new year.