Danny Maun will be more than an interested spectator when he attends the Boxing Day derby between Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams.
The former Bulldogs centre will take the chance to meet up with old friends, while partaking in one of the long standing traditions in the Heavy Woollen.
But while Maun will take chance to enjoy the game from the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium terraces, he will also be on a fact-finding mission.
Maun, who helped Hunslet Hawks win promotion from Kingstone Press Championship One last season, will coach a Heavy Woollen Select side take on the Bulldogs in a pre-season friendly on January 25.
Maun, current Dudley Hill coach Danny Thomas, and Birstall Victoria’s Richard Hunter have selected a crop of 25 players from the local game to attend training sessions.
Maun said: “We had a great turnout at our first get together last week and it was very encouraging to see how the players have responded to this game.
“The whole squad trained hard and, on that evidence, it is going to be hard to select a final 20 for the Batley match.
“The players seemed to come together very quickly and we will have more sessions in the new year as we build towards the game.
“It is a massive opportunity for some of these players and chance to prove people wrong if they have been released from scholarship schemes and I hope they are able to take something from the game.”
Maun made more than 250 appearances during his two spells at the Bulldogs but he also spent a season across the valley at Dewsbury and is anticipating a cracking derby next week.
Maun added: “I’ll be on a bit of a spying mission I suppose.
“Batley have recruited really well and have signed a great player in Shaun Ainscough.
“Wayne Reittie came back towards the end of last season and then there’s Cain Southernwood.
“I think Dewsbury will kick on from next season and they have a good chance of getting into the top four.
“They will have got confidence from their play-off run last year and they have an experienced team with the likes of Wayne Godwin, Karl Pryce and Rob Spicer, who I see as the most underrated player in the Championship.
“Some people say you can’t judge the teams by what happens on Boxing Day but you always want to win that game and get the bragging rights.
“I’ll have to go for a Batley win though, otherwise I’ll get shot,” joked Maun.