Kear plays down Dewsbury clash as Batley pick up the preseason pace

Bulldogs boss John Kear has played down the importance of the Heavy Woollen derby as his side gear up for their third week of preseason training. His men will make the short trip to the Tetley’s Stadium on Boxing Day for their eagerlyanticipated clash with archrivals Dewsbury Rams, but Kear claims he doe not see the tie as game one of his Batley tenure. Instead, the former England boss is focusing his attention on February 14 when the Bulldogs kick off their Northern Rail Cup campaign. He said: “Boxing Day isn’t game one to me, it is a training session. “Game one will be February 14 in the Northern Rail Cup. The preseason trial games are obviously important because we want to do well, but it’s more about me finding out more in terms of combinations and the skill of individual players. “It won’t be about results. If we win all four games I’ll be delighted, but I’m not going to be too worried if we don’t. “Everyone will get a shot in their preferred position during the trial games and there will be little things I want to try too, there may be some surprises positionally.” Kear, who made the move to Mount Pleasant back in September, is delighted with the way training has gone so far but admits he too has had to adapt to “not wasting a minute” as he crams in a challenging training schedule. He added: “Preseason is going very well and the players are they in front of where I would have expected them to have been at this stage, which is very pleasing from my point of view. “I’m not one to pick people out but there are some individuals within the group, who are performing very well indeed. “The difficult thing is fitting everything into a smaller timescale. “When you have players from nine until five, for five days a week like I had at Wakefield, it’s a lot easier to have team meetings, individual meetings and conditioning time for the players. We have to ensure that we do not waste a minute. “I have to bear in mind that these players go work during the day and although they will put the work in at training, there are constraints. “Having said that, I have been impressed with fitness levels.” Meanwhile, Kear claims centre Daley Williams, who broke his leg in Batley’s final game of last season, is closing in on a full recovery as his rehabilitation enters its seventh week.

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