THE STRENGTH of Batley Bulldogs’ squad for 2019 will depend on how they finish this year.
Bulldogs, who visit Barrow Raiders tomorrow (3pm), are third in the Championship Shield table, which is seventh in the Championship. Central funding for next season is based on where clubs finish the current campaign and Batley coach Matt Diskin stressed recruiting the players he wants hinges on them maintaining their current position in the league standings.
He said: “It is a massive game for us, kind of a must-win if we are going to secure seventh spot and get the right amount of funding to recruit as well as we want to for next year.
“It is one of our biggest games of the year in terms of our plans for next season.
“Potentially there’s a difference of £25,000 per place and that is three or four players to a club like Batley so it is massive for us.”
Bulldogs beat Barrow at home in the regular season, but lost 20-18 in Cumbria four months ago.
“We were left very frustrated,” Diskin recalled.
“It was a game we gave away and we want to put a few things right.”
Batley will travel without Wayne Reittie who is unavailable for family reasons, and James Davey has a hand injury, but Diskin said: “Other than that we are in a pretty good position.”