Diskin bullish on Batley’s chances

New Batley coach Matt Diskin wants his side to repeat their heroics of 2016 and reach the Middle 8s again next year.

Diskin has taken over at the Bulldogs after the departure of John Kear to Wakefield.

Batley enjoyed plenty of success last season, finishing third at the end of the regular season and qualifying for the Super 8s.

Last year was unexpected and the aim is to convince people Batley can constantly challenge at the top, according to Diskin.

“They punched well above their weight last year and my task now is to try and repeat that which isn’t going to be any mean feat,” he said.

“Everyone’s perception, particularly outside the Batley club is that what they achieved last year had an element of fortune.

“My job is to get them competing for that top four each year so when they are in that mix it’s not considerate, it’s a given that Batley are in that mix.”

Diskin said there are plenty of positive signs early on in pre-season.

“They have been really good,” he said.

“It is the third week into pre-season and everything is running pretty smoothly.

“The lads are embracing everything we’re doing which is really positive for us at the moment.”

A number of players have left the club since last season, including former captain Keegan Hirst, but Diskin thinks the new additions have improved the squad ahead of next year’s campaign.

“Regarding players going out I think we have replaced like for like and there is some real quality,” he said.

“I think the squad as a whole has improved on last year.”

Diskin also confirmed there will be no more additions to the squad.

“I think we have got some real depth and competition for places across the board which makes my job as a coach tough,” he said.

“It’s a headache that I want.”

The 34-year old was assistant to James Lowes during his time with Bradford before taking over from Kear at Batley.

Diskin admitted it was sad to see the Bulls get into their current situatuin

“It’s a travesty for a club of such size and stature,” he said.

“It’s more disheartening when you look at the quality of people involved with the coaching staff from the junior level right up, who have worked hard to get the club back on a good footing.”

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