Mark Moxon calls for ‘patience’ during Batley Bulldogs ‘transition’ as fans’ favourites Alistair Leak and Dane Manning sign up for 2024
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The experienced duo have put pen to paper on new deals for the 2024 campaign, with Leak, 31, entering his 12th season at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium and Manning, 34, going into his eighth consecutive year and ninth in total after a spell in 2011.
On their services to the club, Moxon said:
“They have both been great servants and they are both absolute troopers. It is not just the amount of service they have given the club but the quality of service they have given as well.
“Both of them are no nonsense and they both give 100 per cent every week - those are both great attributes to have.
“They are immense around the club. You hear a lot about coaches and clubs talking about culture and we’re at a stage where a few older guys are dropping off the top end, so it’s important that these experienced guys pass that culture over to the young lads, especially those that we have fetched in for this season.
“Hopefully they can then continue with that good culture. It is vitally important that the likes of Leaky, Manu and the senior players instil the culture and expectations of the standards that we try to drive.
“It is important they pass that home this year.”
And despite a combined age of 68, Moxon believes they will both be wanting “as many minutes as they can” in 2024.
He said: “I wouldn’t expect a Dane Manning or a Leaky coming to my door wanting a week off. They will both want to play every week and they will both want to play as many minutes as they can.
“To be honest, it would probably be a headache for me if I did try to give them a bit of a rest or a bit of time off because I’m sure they wouldn’t want that. They will want to play as many minutes as they can.”
Asked if he feels there is the right blend of youth and experience within his Bulldogs squad for the upcoming campaign, Moxon responded:
“I think so. It’s kind of been forced on us with some of the guys deciding at the end of last year but we knew this was always going to happen. There had to be a transition some time.
“We are not going to know if we have got the balance right until the season starts. Everybody is going to have to be a little bit patient with that transition as it might take a while. It might take all season, who knows. That transition has to take place and it might be continuing over the next couple of years as well as we have got a few lads in the squad this year where it might be their last season.
“I am pleased that it hasn;t all happened at once, so we have still got some experience in the squad, the likes of Dane and Leaky and the rest.
“We have got a gradual transition.”