2009 will live long in the memory of Halifax supporters for a variety of reasons. A blistering start to the league campaign saw them race clear at the top of the Championship, winning their first seven matches, and staking an early claim for a franchise spot in the near-future.
The second-half of the season brought with it a dip in form, however, and Matt Calland’s men were unable to recapture their early season form – despite eventually making the Grand Final and coming up just short. However, they will have gained a lot from the experiences of last season, and will be better prepared for 2010.
In Ben Black and Luke Branighan, Calland has one of the division’s most lethal half-back combinations at his disposal and, with Stanley Gene and Makali Aizue arriving during the close-season, a visit to the Shay in 2010 will be a tougher prospect than ever. The likes of Paul White and Dylan Nash are also quality additions to a squad that oozes quality throughout. Their strength in depth will match anyone in the division, and they are still to take advantage of the dual registration system, should they need to.
With the East Stand nearing completion, it promises to be a good year to be a Halifax fan. However, they musn’t become complacent, and despite what promises to be a successful season on the pitch, they need to bolster their Super League bid by attracing more fans through the gates and bringing through some young talent.
Halifax have class all over the park and it’s difficult to see anyone derailing their quest for silverware this season.
Prediction: 1st, Grand Final winners
Key Man: Ben Black