Stankevitch pleased with Rochdale squad

Rochdale coach John Stankevitch says he is really pleased with the Hornets’ recruitment as they hunt promotion to the new look Championship for 2013.

With a host of new clubs set to enter the Championships in 2013, there will be a scramble to move up from the third tier in 2012, with four teams set to earn promotion.

Rochdale lost out in the play-offs last season, but Stankevitch is sure they will be up at the top end of the table again this season.

He said: “I’m really pleased with our recruitment, we’ve not got any gaps.

“Our main loss was Craig Ashall, who was outstanding last season, but we’ve got a good group of players. I have coached lots of them before and that’s good, because they’ve bought in to it, they’ve bought in to me as a coach, and they believe in me and in themselves.

“One player I was pleased to finally get hold of was Gary Middlehurst. I’ve been trying to sign him for several years both at Widnes and even Rotherham Titans rugby union, and he will go well this season.

“With the signing of Ste Bannister, I think we’ve got five back-rowers who would get in any other team of the division.”

Rochdale will complete their preparations for the new season on Sunday, when they take on Keighley in their final pre-season friendly.

They last met at Cougar Park back in the elimination play-off semi-final in September, when the Cougars were 38-23 victors, sending them through to the Championship 1 Grand Final where they beat Workington Town to secure promotion to the Championship.

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