Dewsbury Rams coach Glenn Morrison admits his side are facing a tough campaign in the Kingstone Championship as they prepare to face Swinton Lions in their first home game on Sunday (kick off 3pm).
Morrison was hugely disappointed to see his side lose 46-0 at Rochdale last week and knows his side face a tough season against sides with much bigger playing budgets than the Rams.
Dewsbury went into their opening fixture at Rochdale with just 16 fit players to select from and brought in four on dual registration from Wakefield Trinity.
They were unable to prevent the Rams from slipping to a 46-0 opening day defeat, although Morrison could be boosted by the return of three regular Dewsbury players this week.
Morrison said: “We were a long way off where we need to be.
“Even if we had been at our best we may not have beaten Rochdale as they played really well but it shows the competition we are in is going to be really tough.”
Full-back Josh Guzdek played in every Dewsbury game last season but has been out since suffering an injury in the Boxing Day derby at Batley.
He was one of several players ruled out as second row Aaron Ollett, fellow back rower Scott Hale and winger Dale Morton also missed the season opener.
The trio could be in line to return on Sunday and Morton would certainly provide a big boost as he scored 17 tries in helping the Rams reach last season’s Championship Shield semi-finals.
Morrison said: “Guzzy played every game for us last year. Full-back is a specialist position and although we had tried a couple of people there in the friendlies that is why we went with the dual reg option last week.
“With Dale, Aaron Ollett and Hale all available, hopefully I will have 17 fit players to pick from this week.”
Swinton have strengthened their squad in the close season and are also in dual registration with Wigan Warriors for the 2017 campaign.
The Lions pushed London Broncos close before losing 26-23 to a try six minutes from time in their first game.
Morrison added: “They are a great side who have brought some quality players in and they should have beaten London, a side everyone have been tipping to finish in the top two.
“It is going to be a long tough year but it would be nice to get off the mark and give our fans who travelled to Rochdale a bit of something back.”