Kear's tight-lipped over next year's Batley squad

Kear's tight-lipped over next year's Batley squad

BATLEY BULLDOGS chief John Kear says he has already signed his starting line-up for 2014 – but is revealing no names.

A host of Kear’s current squad are expected to depart Mount Pleasant at the end of the year, including star men Gareth Moore, George Flanagan and Jason Walton.

Greg Johnson is believed to be Salford-bound alongside Walton, while Moore, Flanagan, Keegan Hirst and Liam Walmsley are continually being linked with moves to Featherstone.

But those deals are yet to be officially confirmed, while the Bulldogs move to piece together 2014’s roster.

“Who is staying and who is going will not be confirmed by the club until we see fit,” said Kear.

“We have already signed a very good starting 13 and those in place are great talents.

“Some are retained and some are new and that is the case most years.

“I am very pleased with what we have in place at this stage, but there will be plenty more to come.”

Kear has also moved to clarify the club’s agreement with Super League Huddersfield Giants.

The former England boss is hoping Batley can make better use of the players available, including them in pre-season preparations.

“We are hoping to better integrate our Super League partners, Huddersfield, next year too.

“When the deal was done last year our squad was already signed, next year we can do things differently.

“Huddersfield have been superb this year and we want to cater for them better.

“The great thing is that we have agreed to allow players who (Giants head coach) Paul Anderson identifies as fringe players to train with us during the off-season.

“That way they will become very much a part of Batley Bulldogs, making the agreement far, far better.”

The Bulldogs travel to Whitehaven on Sunday, bidding to hang on to fourth spot (kick-off 3pm).

Loose forward Ash Lindsay is a doubt and will face a late fitness test, while Ayden Faal and Mark Applegarth remain sidelined with knee injuries.

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