A TOP-SIX finish in the Betfred Championship is Dewsbury Rams’ realistic target for this season.
Rams kick off the competition at home to Sheffield Eagles tonight (7.45pm) and coach Neil Kelly said: “In my wildest dreams, we are going to be in the top-four.
“More realistically, I want to be challenging Featherstone and Halifax – the traditional clubs that are around for, five and six.
“Who’s to say, if you are in that position, you don’t pinch fourth spot?
“But realistically, if we finish fifth or sixth that’s a major achievement.”
Kelly stressed that Dewsbury, who lost their first eight league games last season, have to hit the ground running to keep themselves in contention near the top and avoid a relegation battle.
The Rams boss added: “We’ve got three home games in the first month.
“If we do the right things and win those and maybe pick up an away win, that colours your whole campaign.
“The confidence those wins give you, you can carry through to the rest of the campaign when you play such as Toronto and Leigh, just around the corner.
“We need to be going into that really well prepared and full of confidence as well.”
Sheffield have strengthened this week with a series of signings, including Cory Aston and Garry Lo on loan from Castleford Tigers.
Kelly admitted uncertainty about Eagles’ line-up has made homework on the opposition difficult. He said: “Mark Aston [Eagles’ coach] has a great pedigree in fetching players together pretty late in preparations and moulding them into a team and a pretty good side.
“We are at home, we are playing Sheffield and we would expect to win.
“But there’s a large part of them we are not sure about.”