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Blackpool Hawk

A view from the pitch - John Oakes

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John Oakes Speaks to Peter Smith

Hunslet Hawks is a good club to be part of at the moment.

We only won two games all last year, so to be on three wins after six Championship matches is a nice situation and shows we are moving in the right direction.

Last year was tough. I enjoyed doing the double over my old club York, but apart from that there wasn’t a lot for us to smile about.

We pushed a few teams close, but we couldn’t get over the line and it was a similar story in 2011, when we lost quite a few matches by close margins and two or three on the last play.

It is hard when you are losing every week, so – without getting carried away – we are enjoying the feeling at the moment.

All our victories have been at home and we’ve won two on the trot now.

It is good to win home matches, because that’s a way of rewarding most of your fans.

Our gates aren’t the biggest, but we’ve got some loyal supporters who stick with us and it is great they’ve had something to cheer about.

I think we have learned a lot over the past couple of years and that’s starting to pay off now. Also, it is Barry Eaton’s second year in charge and he is really getting his message across.

We know what Barry’s about now and what he wants from us. I’ve been really impressed with him. He is a good coach and he has brought a lot more professionalism to the team.

Before, I think for some players it was more of a social thing. Now the rugby side is treated a lot more professionally and that has helped improve performances on the field.

Everybody knows we have got the smallest budget in the Championship, so it is a struggle, but it was a great step forward for the club to be taken over by the supporters.

The people involved put a lot of effort in and things are going pretty well at the moment.

We have got a good squad, with a nice mix of youth and experience. I am 25 and when I first came back to training I felt quite old.

The young lads are doing a good job, there’s players like me and Luke Haigh who have played a lot of first team games now and we’ve got old heads like Tommy Haughey and David March who have played in Super League.

I think Marchy is the best player outside Super League. You probably have to play with him to realise what an influence he is, he has all the experience in the world and he’s a great person to have around.

He’ll probably play on forever. He just can’t help himself, he loves playing the game so much.

We have also got the Leeds dual-registrations lads and they have definitely made us a better team.

It is a controversial subject, but they are all good lads, they are going well at the moment and they’ve brought good habits with them.

There’s no resentment from the Hunslet boys. We know if you put it in at training and you play well, you’ll get picked. It’s as simple as that.

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Good interview that. Lets do Halifax on Sunday now

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Great Interview by John, great to see him speaking highly of the fans and also great for us to feature in the YEP main rugby league article!

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Seen l.welham today my god his face is a mess, right eye completely closed he's had a brain scan from a knock to the head on Sunday. However his eye keeps getting worse day by day doubt he will be playing this week

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Seen l.welham today my god his face is a mess, right eye completely closed he's had a brain scan from a knock to the head on Sunday. However his eye keeps getting worse day by day doubt he will be playing this week

Picture on twitter here

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