DEWSBURY coach Warren Jowitt will send his squad out with the message to produce a performance to please him and the fans when the Rams take on Batley Bulldogs on Boxing Day.
Batley have won the last three festive Challenge matches but there is real optimism among Rams followers that this season’s squad is the strongest in years.
Jowitt and Batley counterpart John Kear are fully aware that Boxing Day is a minor part of their pre-season programmes but both are set to hand debuts to several close season signings, which should add to the interest among fans.
Jowitt said: “I want us to go out on Boxing Day and perform. The game will give me chance to try a few new things out and I will be looking for a performance from the players. If I get that I will be very happy.
“However, I say this every year, that Boxing Day comes six or seven weeks into our pre-season programme and neither side will be fully prepared for the game.
“Boxing Day is good for the fans, the club and everyone connected with Batley and Dewsbury but it is far more important that we are ready for the start of the season.”
Dewsbury supporters will remember all too well they suffered a glut of injuries in last season’s match at Mount Pleasant, which hampered the start to their Northern Rail Cup programme.
With that in mind, plus the fact neither squad will be match fit, both are likely to feature around 20 players.
The whole Rams squad continue to please Jowitt with their work ethic and everyone will come into consideration for the opening pre-season game.
Jowitt added: “Training has been the best it has ever been but I am not getting carried away as I have made that mistake before but overall we are a much more committed squad.”