Batley out to maintain place among Championship top dogs

Drew Darbyshire
James Brown Batley PA

Batley are aiming to go one better than they did in 2021 and finish even higher in the Championship league table, according to captain James Brown.

The club enjoyed an impressive campaign under head coach Craig Lingard last season, finishing fourth in table after the regular season.

Batley knocked Bradford out of the play-offs in the first hurdle but lost in Toulouse in the semi-finals. The French club then went on to clinch promotion to Super League.

Featherstone and Leigh are the bookmakers favourites to win the Championship this year. York, Halifax, Newcastle, Widnes and Batley are tipped as outsiders.

Prop Brown says the Bulldogs want to go one better in 2022 and finish higher in the table.

He said: “We want to be one step ahead than we were last year, hopefully we can get second or third. We want to be competitive.

“We just want to replicate what we did last year and stick to what went on, we weren’t far off.

“I’m really confident that we are going to have another good year and get higher up in the table.

“We’ve got a young squad so everyone is a year wiser. They are used to the Championship a bit more now so I hope that stands us in good stead.

“We just need to be more consistent in what we do. When we get in the arm wrestle we need to be the first ones to win it.”

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Batley have made a number of new signings ahead of the upcoming campaign. Josh Hodson and James Meadows have joined from London Broncos, whilst Perry Whiteley has made the move over from York.

The club have also signed young duo Josh Milthorpe and Louis Collinson from Super League side Castleford.

On their new signings, Brown said: “They’ve settled in really well. A couple of them live together so it makes it a little bit easier for them.

“They’ve added to what was already a good squad. We only lost one player from last year in Elliot (Hall) so I think we are stronger.”

READ MORE: Championship ins and outs for 2022: Signings and retentions club-by-club