BATLEY BULLDOGS’ squad has been bolstered by the extension of loan deals for Alex Brown and Kyle Trout.
The pair joined the Bulldogs on month-long loans from Leigh Centurions and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats respectively but these were due to expire.
However, their parent clubs have extended their spells at Mount Pleasant on a week-by-week basis.
Meanwhile half-back Simon Brown has two weeks left on his initial deal from West Yorkshire rivals Halifax.
John Kear said: “Alex has done really well for us on the wing and has been a constant threat, scoring some great tries along the way.
“Kyle is someone I have known since the Wakefield academy side and he is a tough kid, both are welcome boosts.
“We will speak with Halifax when the time comes, but Simon is enjoying it here and we are enjoying having him with us.
“If he stays and we have Ben Black fit we will have three half-back options and it will feel like I have died and gone to heaven.
“I then have the luxury to select the two that are in the best form.”
Ben Black has been in training this week and could be made available to Kear if he passes a fitness test today (Fri).
The long-term injured Australian has been out of action so far this season after having a surgical clean-out of his injured knee.
Despite this Kear remains realistic about the situation and said: “Ben Black has trained fully but I don’t want to temp fate, I’d like to think he is close to a return to action.
“I’ve got to applaud the application of the players because they have worked hard for two weeks.
“It has been a tough couple of weeks and if they play like they have trained we will have no problems.
“Everyone wants to get out there but unfortunately some players will be left disappointed.
“But that is the nature of rugby league, I only have 17 shirts to fill.”
Batley play host to Whitehaven on Sunday (2pm) aiming to bounce back from their humbling at Dewsbury Rams on Good Friday.
It was a loss that epitomised the inconsistency of their season, with a home win against Keighley being followed up by the derby fixture hammering.
Despite impressive wins against North Wales and Halifax, the Batley outfit have also suffered four losses which have left them in seventh spot.
“I wish Whitehaven hadn’t got a beating against North Wales because they will looking for a response against us.
“They are similar to us due to their inconsistent form, but they have been great in their derbies. I just hope the poor Whitehaven turn up.”
Batley are without second-rower Sam Scott for the fixture, as the forward is still around six weeks away from a return from a broken hand.
However, initials fears that surgery will be required have been quashed meaning no pins are needed and Scott can continue with a modified training plan.
The hosts will also be missing Mark Applegarth who failed to shake off a calf strain which kept him out of the derby tie.
Josh Griffin is also unavailable for the next two weeks due to commitments in rugby union which he arranged before joining the Mount Pleasant side.