JIMMY WATSON is set to return to action – and make his 200th appearance for the club – when Hunslet entertain Cornwall on Sunday (18 June)in a key Betfred League 1 fixture.
The popular fullback, who is in his benefit season, has been sidelined since mid-April after sustaining a serious finger injury at work, but is now back to full fitness.
He could be joined, in head coach Alan Kilshaw’s 17, by twins Joe and Oli Burton, whose dad Danny will – appropriately on Father’s Day – be in the home dugout as one of the Parksiders’ assistant coaches. Joe was signed by Hunslet during the winter while Oli, who featured last season, has returned to the club in a loan deal with Batley Bulldogs.
Kilshaw has also snapped up Marcus Green and Myles Lawford, on loan from Bradford, both of whom are in his squad for the Choughs clash.
Nathan Newbound is still unavailable, with a back issue, but has returned to conditioned training and will hopefully be fully fit within a week. And Fraser Stroud, who has been out of action with a foot injury for some time, is back in full training and building towards peak fitness.
Kilshaw’s 21-man squad for the game, which kicks off at 3.00pm, 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, Jordan Bull, Brad Wheeler, Alfie Goddard, Matty Beharrell, Johnny Campbell, Marcus Green, Myles Lawford, Oli Burton.
Promotion-chasing Hunslet go into the fixture, against the league’s bottom side, on the back of a 40-20 reverse at Oldham last weekend – a fixture in which they led 20-18 early in the second half. `Killer’ said: “We have had a lot of honest conversations since the Oldham game and sometimes a longer period of reflection after a poor performance isn’t a bad thing. We know we have to be at a certain level each and every week in our preparation and practice, irrelevant of the opposition and the standings in the league. We have added to the squad to push the intensity up in our performances, and to ensure there is no complacency in the group.”
He added: “It’s a special day for the players, being Jimmy’s 200th game for the club, and Fathers’ Day, we need to make sure we do those two things justice. And, on the subject of it being Fathers’ Day, from a selfish point of view I would want a good performance so I’m not in a bad mood when I see my kids after the game!!”