Hunslet veteran David March has told critics to write them off at their peril – following question marks over the Hawks’ young squad.
Under new coach Barry Eaton, Hunslet have assembled a squad that features a number of players who have recently dropped out of the Super League Under 20s competition, including the likes of Danny Allan, Matthew Harding and Andrew Yates.
They get their campaign underway with a tricky Northern Rail Cup tie against Whitehaven on Sunday, but March believes the squad is in good shape.
He said: “We’ve signed well this season. We’ve got a good few youngsters looking to make a point having come out of Super League systems, and we’ve got some good old heads in the likes of Richard Blakeway.
“Lots of people have wrote us off saying that we’re too young, but we’ll take positives from that.”
It was a squad that was last week boosted by the return of stand off Danny Grimshaw, who had only left the club to join Featherstone at the end of last season, before a change in circumstances meant he returned to the South Leeds Stadium.
March added: “Danny is a great signing, and he’s looking forward to coming back. I think the club is happy with what they’ve got now, but it (loans and dual-registration deals) might be a thing for the future.”
The former Wakefield forward also pinpointed youngster Josh Nathaniel as one to watch for the upcoming season.
Nathaniel, 20, is a centre or winger who was a regular in the Castleford senior academy side last year, before taking up a one-year deal with the Hawks.
March said: “He has stood out massively for us. He’s played in a few of the friendlies we’ve had, and he’s a stand out youngster.
“We’re looking forward to playing Whitehaven on Sunday, we’ve got a good squad overall, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Sunday will see Eaton take charge of Hunslet for the first time in a competitive game. The former Keighley coach and Crusaders assistant succeeds March’s brother Paul, who left at the end of last season before signing a playing contract with Keighley.