Diskin talks up recruitment progress at Batley

New Batley head coach Matt Diskin believes his squad are in a better position to make the top four than last year following their recruitment for 2017.

The Bulldogs have brought in seven new players for Diskin’s first year in charge following the departure of John Kear, with Keegan Hirst and a number of fringe players departing.

Among the new arrivals are Halifax second-row Dane Manning and fellow forward Joel Farrell after his move from rivals Dewsbury.

Batley defied the odds to finish third last year, but having added more bodies to the squad following last year’s success, Diskin believes they can prove that their success in 2016 wasn’t a fluke.

“My main issue with the squad last year was that it lacked some depth,” Diskin told TotalRL.

“We recruited with that and a very competitive in the Championship in mind. Some people at the top of Super League have an elitist view of the Championship, but it’s a tough league. We need some depth to compete week in, week out.

“We’ve brought in some young kids with talent who’ve come from places where there isn’t academies or A-teams, and then you’ve got the quality of Joel Farrell and Dane Manning for example. They add to a great pack, it’s exciting.”

Although the prospect of replacing a man of Kear’s calibre would be daunting to some, Disking insists he is excited about the task.

“It’s a massive challenge, but one I’m looking forward to.

“I’ve really enjoyed it so far. The boys have been really receptive to the new ideas we’ve put in and the club has been really supportive.”

Next week’s League Express will feature an extensive preview with the new Batley head coach about his plans for the club and himself personally.