Important family matters rightly take precedence over Rugby League for Hunslet, who are targeting promotion from Betfred League 1 and are at home to leaders Dewsbury Rams on Sunday (30 July, 3.00pm).
The Parksiders’ head coach Alan Kilshaw said: “We are having a baby boom! Harvey Hallas and his fiancee Emily welcomed a little boy, Archer, into the world early on in the week and Matty Beharrell and his fiancee Jade are due to have a baby girl this weekend.
“We are confident that Harvey will play, although Matty is a big doubt; it’s uncertain whether he will play. We will leave the decision until late, as we are a family club and some things are more important than a game.”
`Killer’ continued: “We have Nathan Conroy who can play at 7, while Fraser Stroud has been training well. We can also of course use Mike Knowles in the halves and will practice with them all and see what best suits the team.”
He, his assistant coaches – Ryan Jackson and Danny Burton – and his squad, meanwhile, are relishing the prospect of hosting the section’s long-term pacesetters. “We are aiming to do what nobody else has done this season in our division, and beat the Rams,” he said. “They will go up as champions – I said this several weeks ago and copped a bit of flak for it – and they are well coached, methodical and don’t make errors. Dewsbury have some players with really good football IQ, who can ice the sets for them and make it very difficult for the opposition. But I’m confident we can match that, as we are also a very good side, with some very good players. I think everyone is looking forward to this game; I know I am, and I’m delighted that I have the best seat in the house.”
Kilshaw concluded: “We can’t wait. There is a real energy and connection within our group, everyone is training well and preparing well and we go into the fixture off the back of some very good wins. Having said that, we know we can perform better, and that’s our focus this week. The harder the game, the simpler our focus. We want to perform the Hunslet way, and we know what type of commitment and effort it will take to achieve that.”
Hunslet’s boss reports no injuries, while Sean Croston and Nathan Newbound are on loan at Cornwall. His 21-man squad for the Dewsbury fixture is Jimmy Watson, Jack Render, Adam Ryder, Joe Burton, Nathan Conroy, Harvey Hallas, Sam Hallas, Steve Crossley, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Aaron York, Michael Knowles, Jordan Syme, Lewis Wray, Fraser Stroud, Spencer Darley, Alfie Goddard, Matty Beharrell, Johnny Campbell, Marcus Green, Myles Lawford, Oli Burton.