SADDLEWORTH RANGERS’ first team can get off to a flying start in the National Conference League 2013 believes coach Emmerson Jackman.
The campaign season kicks off on Saturday, March 2, with Rangers in Division One following their relegation from the top flight.
And with their first three games to be played at Shaw Hall Bank Road against Wigan St Judes, East Leeds and Waterhead, Jackman has targeted a winning streak to launch their campaign.
“We’ve got to win the three home games and get off to a great start and I think we will do that,” he said.
Rangers have already tasted success this season after reaching the semi-finals of Oldham’s Standard Cup before losing 26-10 away to holders Rochdale Mayfield.
And while Jackman hopes these good performances continue, he said improving team commitment and less travelling will be the key to success.
He said: “Obviously we’ve stepped down a division but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think a lot of the younger players will be more ready now.
“In the Premier League there is a lot of travelling involved. You could be working all week and be in Hull at the weekend which is hard.
“After last year we had to change because there wasn’t a lot of commitment there but we’ve worked on that. You only get out what you put in and the lads have responded very well.”
Rangers also have a Challenge Cup Third Round tie against Hunslet Old Boys to look forward to on Saturday, March 9.
Meanwhile newly-promoted Waterhead are in buoyant mood as they prepare to kick off their Division One campaign at Milford Marlins on Saturday, March 2.
Coach Andy Sands admits it is a massive challenge, but has been delighted with preparations for the new season.
“It is a big step up in terms of the standard, but I don’t think we could be better prepared and the squad has come together well,” he said.
Waterhead defeated Hollinwood 58-10 in the Standard Cup in their only competitive match before their league campaign begins.
Sands has strengthened his side by the capture of former Oldham RL players Matt Foggarty and Johnny Fullalove, who are both backs, along with former Oldham RUFC prop Mick Hackman.
He also has a couple of forwards earmarked to come in and he believes they will be competitive, even though he won’t be himself having recently had a major shoulder operation which means it is unlikely he will play again.