One of the more interesting moves of the off-season saw Featherstone bring in young Australian coach Ryan Carr to replace John Duffy as coach.
That has been coupled with a recruitment drive that has seen the arrival of three Papua New Guinea internationals and former World Club Challenge winners Cameron King and Brett Delaney.
Some of their recruitment has been done late, with Callum Turner arriving from Castleford this week, but they look capable of springing some surprises in what promises to be an exciting fight for a top five place.
Carr said: “I’m stoked with the playing group, they’re all great blokes and good to work with, so I’ve been very fortunate with that.
“I was working away in Australia and Mark Campbell flew over and met with him and Richard Agar and we met for a coffee, and then another one a day later, and before I knew it I had a job and told my wife we’re going to England, so it happened fast.
“I’ve got to learn how proud the club is and the history they’ve had, the heights they’ve reached.
“The more they’re talking about the other teams the better for me. I like that really. We need to focus on us, that’s all we can do.
“With myself getting over late and Asa, Watson, Cameron, Connor and Thompson getting over quite late, we haven’t had chance to really form our own combinations, so all we can afford to do is worry about us and that’s going to be our focus over the next four weeks.
“There’s always that risk of a slow start when you haven’t had much time together, but we don’t want to make too many excuses, we want to be the best we can be for the Bradford game and then the week after try to be better.”
Carr can also call on four players from Leeds on dual-registration for the trip to Odsal.
Featherstone 19-man squad: A Boas, Day, Turner, King, Carey, Maskill, Newman, Ormondroyd, Render, Lockwood, Davies, Hardcastle, Walters, Briscoe, Cooper, Wheeldon, Darley, Teteh, W Boas.
Bradford 19-man squad: Chisholm, Crossley, Evans, Farrell, Flanagan, Garside, Green, Hallas, Hitchcox, Kirk, Lilley, Magrin, Minchella, Oakes, Pickersgill, Ryan, Webster, Wildie, Wood.