FEATHERSTONE Rovers coach Daryl Powell admits he will have some tough selection decisions next season.
Rovers have completed their recruitment for 2012 by signing Danny Grimshaw, Anthony England, James Lockwood, Nathan Freer, Tangi Ropati and Dominic Maloney.
With the majority of last season’s championship-winning team retained, there will be keen competition for places as Rovers bid to finish top of the Co-operative Championship for the third successive year.
Powell (pictured) said: “My job is going to be difficult selecting the team each week but it’s going to be difficult for players as well.
“First of all, they are going to need to get pre-season right and be outstanding in the pre-season work and then they are going to need to be consistent in how they play as individuals because it’s going to be challenging in terms of the numbers that are in the squad.
“The signs are good. We want to step up again next year and I feel we’ve got a squad that can do that.”
Rovers will warm up for the new campaign with four pre-season matches.
They have home games on successive Sundays against Hunslet Hawks (January 1), Hull Kingston Rovers (January 8) and Bradford Bulls (January 15). All three fixtures kick-off at 3pm.
They visit Super League champions Leeds Rhinos on Friday, January 20 (8pm kick-off).
Powell believes the fixtures will be ideal preparation for the new season.
“We are again looking to start the season pretty strongly and these matches will give us a great opportunity to do that,” he said.
“It’s certainly going to be a challenge and we’ll have to be pretty smart with our squad but it’s going show us where we are at.
“We’ve got the squad that we want. It’s a strong squad and we are looking forward to the new season.”
Meanwhile, Rovers have received another sponsorship boost with news that local firm BMG Solutions Ltd will be a key associate of the club in 2012.
BMG Solutions Ltd will appear on the sleeve of the 2012 playing kit as well as having signage around Bigfellas Stadium. The Castleford-based company mainly specialise in mechanical and electrical works in domestic, commercial and industrial properties.
Rovers commercial manager Paul Taylor said: “It’s fantastic that we can announce another new sponsor going on the playing kit in 2012.
“We are thankful to the guys at BMG Solutions Ltd who recognise the value of being associated with Featherstone Rovers and our growing brand. We look forward to working with BMG Solutions Ltd in 2012 and I am confident they will find their association with the club rewarding.”
Rovers are staging a bonfire at Bigfellas Stadium this evening (Saturday).
Gates open at 6pm, the bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm and the fireworks start at 7.15pm. Food will be available and the main bar in the clubhouse will be open. Admission is £3 adults and £1 under 16s.
Featherstone will hold their scholarship sportspersons dinner in The Atrium, at Bigfellas Stadium, on Friday, November 11. Tickets cost £25.
Latest £500 winners in the Rovers lottery are A Moore (B4984), C Riley (G0583), R Hunter (S5945), J Firth (B2542), M Daniel (R2498). Travellers Rest meal voucher: B Draper (V3112).