Amateur RL: Familiar name of Schofield back in rugby with Hunslet Warriors
HUNSLET WARRIORS are aiming to reverse their slide and begin climbing back up the National Conference ladder this season.
Warriors rose through the divisions to become the leading side in the top flight, but their fortunes have been in decline over recent seasons and they were relegated to Division Three last year.
They are rebuilding under a new coach, Jonathan Schofield, this season and kick-off at home to newcomers Batley Boys – who have come up from the Pennine League – tomorrow (2.30pm).
With Schofield unavailable, his coaching team – including Wakefield Trinity’s former Leeds Rhinos and Featherstone Rovers prop Jordan Baldwinson – will be in charge for the season opener.
Schofield – son of Leeds and Great Britain legend Garry Schofield – knows it will be a testing campaign.
“I was very happy with the performance in our friendly against Oulton last week,” he said.
“Batley Boys will be a hard test, they have come together as a team over the last two or three years.
“The Warriors have had a tough last few seasons and it’s a tough division – there’s some travelling in there and it’s always tough going to Cumbria – but if we take it game by game I think we will be all right.”
Schofield isn’t looking beyond tomorrow, but promotion is the ultimate aim.
“We are in a tough division and every team will want to achieve the same thing,” Schofield predicted.
“We will just take it game by game.”
Schofield, 28, played for Castleford Tigers, York City Knights and Dewsbury Rams and now works for Wakefield Trinity.
He was assistant to Glenn Morrison at Dewsbury and had a spell as caretaker-coach there two years ago.
“I’m delighted,” he said of his return to coaching. “I have been doing a bit of rugby union, at Leeds Corinthians, but it is good to be back in league.
“I have been made to feel very welcome, I’ve got respect from the players and they seem to be enjoying it. I hope we are in for a good season if everyone buys into what we want to put in place.”
Tomorrow is Warriors’ second competitive game of the year after a narrow loss to Featherstone Lions in the Coral Challenge Cup.