Lions coach Rooney eager to impress at Featherstone

Featherstone Lions coach Jamie Rooney is relishing the chance to tangle with a professional club at the Big Fellas Stadium on Friday night.

The Lions meet with York City Knights in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup, and Rooney, a former Featherstone Rovers man, is looking forward to spending time at a very familiar venue.

It is Rooney’s first chance to coach his team against a team of professionals, and he has acknowledged what a tremendous opportunity it is for him and his players.

“It’s a big game and something I’m really looking forward to,” he said.

“As a player, I thought coaches had it easy but that certainly isn’t the case and I’m sure a few grey hairs are coming through!

“It’s a fantastic draw for us and a big challenge but it’s something all the players are buzzing about.

“There’s a bit of extra spice there with Ryan Mallinder who is a Fev lad and also James Ford being a former Rovers player so it should be a good tussle.

“It’s a big game for our boys and probably will be the biggest game they will ever be involved in for the Lions.”

Rooney also hopes that the local Featherstone rugby league community comes out in force to back his men.

“It’s important for the town that we do well. We have a proven track record of nurturing quality local talent, so hopefully we will be rewarded with a healthy crowd on Friday,” he added.

“Every single player from 1 to 17 is a local lad and we are hoping the crowd can be our 18th man and cheer us on. We have players who could definitely play at a higher level and they are looking forward to testing themselves on Friday.”

 

Jamie also had a special mention for the hosts Featherstone Rovers “I’d like to thank Rovers for hosting the game and in particular their Chairman Mark Campbell. They are allowing us to train on Thursday evening on the pitch and also looking after the players afterwards which will help in our preparation for our big evening on Friday.”

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