Hunslet v Gloucestershire All Golds: James Coyle says top eight the minimum requirement

OPTIMISTIC: Hunslet coach James Coyle. Picture: James Hardisty.OPTIMISTIC: Hunslet coach James Coyle. Picture: James Hardisty.
OPTIMISTIC: Hunslet coach James Coyle. Picture: James Hardisty.
RETAINING THEIR place in the top-eight is Hunslet's first goal for the Kingstone Press League One season which begins tomorrow.

Hunslet, who are at home to University of Gloucestershire All Golds in round one (3pm), were seventh after 14 rounds last season when the league split into separate Super-8s and Shield competitions.

They then missed out by two places and three points at the end of the year, when the top-five went into the play-offs.

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It is the same format this term and coach James Coyle said: “We want to make the top-eight cut first and then we’re looking to push on for a play-offs spot.

“That’s the goal we’ve set ourselves and it is achievable, but we will have to be at our best each week to do it.”

All eyes this season will be on Toronto Wolfpack, who make their League One debut away to London Skolars today.

“Toronto are going to be in the top five,” Coyle predicted.

“The others are probably going to come from Doncaster, York, Whitehaven, Workington, Barrow, Keighley and ourselves, so there’s a lot of competition for four spots.

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“All the established teams have strengthened from last year and have got a bit better and the teams outside that are a bit better as well.

“If you don’t turn up for those games you are going to get caught out and then you’ll leave yourselves in a bit of bother to make the play-offs.”

All Golds finished the 2016 regular season in 12th place, but Coyle warned: “I know Lee Greenwood, he’s a good coach and they’ve got some good players.

“From what I’ve seen, the full-back looks sharp and the kid who played No 9 last week - Steve Parry.

“But we’ve not really talked about who we are playing.

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“Until we get all the bugs ironed out of our game I don’t think we can start focusing too much on the opposition.

“We’ve got to clean our own act up first.”

Hunslet are on the back of a 34-0 win over Coventry Bears in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup last week.

“We’ve started the ball rolling and created a bit of momentum,” Coyle said. “We’ve got to build on that and make sure we improve in little areas we’ve highlighted and keep making little improvements each time we go on to the field.”