Blind side johnny Posted January 31 Share Posted January 31 (edited) February begins tomorrow and our first league game gets even closer. Friendlies are all well and good but, for the spectators at least offer little insight into how the team and the individuals within it will perform. For me they are still a relatively unknown quantity and so are those teams that we will be facing in the league - who is strong, who has strengthened, who has gone backwards? We should soon be finding out but, in the meantime here are my predictions for the final league positions - more guesswork than science by a long chalk: 1. Dewsbury - we have to believe that this is where we should finish, not out of any sense of entitlement but definitely based upon hope and a little expectation. I have faith in Liam's coaching abilities to mould this group of players into a winning unit. Will our half backs succeed behind what should be a strong pack? This will be a difficult league to get out of with the very restricted number of games - there can be no slip-ups nor taking time to build. 2. Oldham - some wise recruitment and an experienced coach in Stuart Littler, who has been there and done it before, leads me to expect a successful season for the Roughyeads. If they can keep their experienced players fit they should do well. 3. Doncaster - a real piece of guesswork. They have flattered to deceive in recent years going through successful patches mixed with inexplicable failure. I expect this to be Richard Horne's last chance to succeed at this level. 4. Hunslet - they have certainly recruited a stronger looking squad than in previous years but can Alan Kilshaw finally get consistent performances out of them? They have a fair bit of experience including a number of players who will be very familiar to our fans. Have they found their best level in C1 and can they be consistent? I see half back being a particular weakness for them. 5. Rochdale - supposedly a rebuilding process for their community club in 2023 so no great expectations on the field. A half decent squad with a useful coach should see them bobbing around mid-table. 6. Workington - nobody enjoys the trip up to Cumbria and this always seems to give Town an advantage at home, which will be the platform on which they hope to build. Anthony Murray has plenty of experience of coaching at this level and can he finally achieve some real success at Derwent Park? They have built their squad around locally based players, which makes a lot of sense, but is there sufficient genuine quality to push for promotion? 7. North Wales - with a new player-coach in Mark Foster and some piecemeal recruitment the Crusaders don't really look strong enough yet to push for promotion. They will certainly cause some shocks and discomfort along the way though, and will be no pushovers. 8. London - something of a dark horse at present. The have a basic, workmanlike squad with the usual issues that they face in recruiting players and look unlikely to make much of a challenge. However, a recent announcement of the imminent takeover of the club with an injection of money for recruitment probably comes too late for them this season (if it does actually come to fruition at all) but they may raise an eyebrow or two during the course of the season. 9. Midlands - a club who are in a self-confessed building stage with little hope or plans for the play-offs at present. One to watch for 2024 maybe? 10. Cornwall - who knows? The coaching staff and squad are most definitely a work in progress, if progress is actually about to be achieved. This season should show if there is any actual reality behind all the hype. They have lost Neil Kelly and numerous experienced players and will struggle to improve upon 2022. These are my thoughts solely and may even be outdated as I type. Do yours differ? What are your hopes and expectations? Edited January 31 by Blind side johnny 4 Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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