New Pilkington Recs Head Coach Jamie Smith has said he is looking forward to the challenge of facing Galway in the Challenge Cup.
Smith is taking charge of the St Helens side for the first time on Saturday against the Tribesmen. He replaced Liam Bostock in the role, who stepped down at the end of the 2021 season.
He said whilst he does not know a lot about Pilks’ opponents on Saturday, he is focused on making sure his players get the job done.
Smith told Love Rugby League: “We only started back training two weeks ago, so it’s not ideal playing so early. But it’ll give me a chance to see where the players are.
“We know nothing about Galway. It’s another complete unknown to us, similar to when we played Aberdeen in the Challenge Cup too. Without sounding clichéd, we can only concentrate on ourselves and work on things that we want to do. Not only for the Galway game, but also looking forward into the NCL season and the way we want to be playing.
“Originally when we decided to enter the Challenge Cup we wanted to use them as warm up games to get players back playing as soon as possible. However now that it’s come around, make no mistake about it, we want to win.”
Smith looking forward to testing himself
Looking forward, Pilkington Recs will be in the Premier Division of the NCL in 2022. They will have their first full season there since 2017.
They initially won promotion as Division One champions in 2019. However, the 2020 season was abandoned two games in because of the pandemic.
Smith said he is looking forward to testing himself at a high level.
He added: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s a huge challenge for myself to be coaching in the best amateur league in the country in my first season as a head coach.
“I’m sure if all of the players buy in and we can get a good run of games without injuries, then we can can put up a good showing of ourselves.
“We’re just looking to put a good showing of ourselves throughout the season. Obviously there’s been two years since we last played in the NCL leagues as they’re intended.
“What we are aware of is that we’re huge underdogs heading into the Premier Division after being newly promoted. But we can only rise to the challenge ahead and see how far it gets us.”
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