Featherstone Rovers v Halifax: One game at a time approach for coach Duffy

John Duffy.
John Duffy.
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QUALITY IS more important than quantity for Featherstone Rovers coach John Duffy – and that means he is not looking too far ahead.

Rovers begin their Betfred Championship season tomorrow at home to Halifax, the side they beat in their final game of last season (3pm).

That was their first-ever win in the middle-eights Qualifiers and getting back into the Championship’s top-four is Rovers’ main goal for the season, but Duffy said they will be dealing with short-term objectives first.

“If you look around at some of the squads, they have got 30 players,” Duffy said.

“We have got a relatively small squad, but a really good squad.

“We can’t look too far ahead, we have got to take it week by week and just try and perform.

“It is about being consistent from minute one.”

Duffy added: “We played some good teams in pre-season and hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the start of the competition.

“Obviously, the financial gains are for finishing in the top-four, but we just want to perform well and get some success this season.

“I think if we are consistent week to week and take each week as it comes we’ll get that.

“We are relatively injury-free and we can’t wait for the weekend.”

Rovers were unbeaten in their pre-season matches, including a 20-16 home win over Halifax three weeks ago.

“I don’t think that will mean anything,” Duffy warned.

“They had a lot of very good young players playing for them, but all the experience will be back.

“We will have to play for the full-80 to get the win, because they are always close games.

Duffy took over from Jon Sharp towards the end of the last campaign and said a full pre-season to work with the players has been invaluable.

“It was certainly an eye-opener when I got the job at that time,” reflected the coach, who said his players have indicated they are further ahead than they were at this stage last year.

“There was pressure there straight away, but I learned a lot about myself and the players.

“They are all on board and excited about the new season and I speak to supporters and I don’t think they have been as excited about start of the season for a long time.

“We are ready to go.”