Hunslet Hawks: Cancellation cuts into Eaton’s pre-season preparations

Barry Eaton
Barry Eaton
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THE CANCELLATION of this weekend’s opening pre-season game is a setback for Hunslet Hawks, coach Barry Eaton has admitted.

Hawks were due to visit Featherstone Rovers on Sunday for the annual Gareth Swift memorial fixture, but the game was called off several weeks ago due to problems with the pitch at Big Fellas Stadium.

Hawks will now begin their pre-season campaign with a home Lazenby Cup clash against Leeds Rhinos on Sunday January 18, before trips to Doncaster a week later and Rochdale Hornets on February 8.

Hunslet’s squad has been overhauled since they won last season’s Championship One Grand Final to secure promotion to the Kingstone Press Championship and Eaton admitted he is keen for his side to get as much match practice as possible before their league opener at Featherstone on Sunday, February 15.

“This Sunday’s game is definitely off,” Eaton confirmed. “Their pitch is being relaid and it is not playable.

“We’d like to re-arrange, but we’re not sure if we will be able to get the game in, because of our schedule and their schedule. Also, we play each other in the first round, so we wouldn’t want to play too close to that game. We still want the game to go ahead, but it is looking unlikely at this stage.”

Eaton admitted the cancellation was “disappointing” and he added: “We are prepared for pre-season games to possibly be called off because of the weather, but it is a blow because this is such an important season coming up.

“We have made so many new signings and it is important to get them all bedded in. We have had a long pre-season, despite finishing after everyone else, but we’ll have to wait another two weeks before we can get a game under our belts.”