BRIGHOUSE Rangers’ pre-season training commenced last Tuesday as assistant coach Craig Young put the players through their paces with the help of new fitness coach Simon Duff.
Although Young wasn’t very happy about the numbers for their first session back, he was impressed with the fitness and attitudes of everyone who turned up.
“This is a massive season coming up for us after winning promotion last season, “ he said. “It will be a big step up from last term with us expecting tougher games against quality opposition.
“With teams entering the division from the Yorkshire League, it will be unknown territory.
“We need to hit the ground running and training is essential to make sure we are ready and fully prepared.
“It was good to see about five new faces from other clubs wanting to come down and have a go with Rangers, so let’s get all our old faces back quickly so we can prepare as a unit.
“Because of our form last season, teams will be prepared for us so let’s go and play with the same commitment and enthusiasm as last season.
“Alex (Muff) took over the reins last year, and is really pleased with our progress. We put a game plan together in training, and I was really pleased that everyone took it on board, such was the competition for places
“At the season’s end it was hard to leave people out. We hope to have the same intensity as last season.
“Last season a number of second team players were promoted and fitted straight into our game plan. We expect many more to be challenging this time under new coach Mark Vento.
“This season every player will be competing for both squads, and as a coaching team we will know we can drop players if they have a bad game or don’t turn up for training, and promote someone who is playing well and trains hard. We are positive and excited about next season.
“We have a signing on day next Saturday and a friendly will follow. This is a chance for everyone to have a get together before the serious work starts.
“We have prepared our pre-season friendlies and first up we will be welcoming last season’s Championship champions Halifax Irish to Russell Way on Saturday, August 11.
“This one is going to be first and second team games. It will give both teams a chance to test themselves and at the same time give a chance for our supporters to see how we have been doing pre-season.
“The week after on Saturday, August 18 we are travelling to face Lancashire side West Craven. We are taking a coach over followed by a lads’ night out in Skipton.
“West Craven have just been promoted from Division Three of the Pennine League and like ourselves lost only three times and are really looking forward to receiving us.”