Doncaster RLFC: Dons are under-Cooke-d says head coach Paul

Doncaster RLFC coach, Paul Cooke watches from the stand.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Doncaster RLFC coach, Paul Cooke watches from the stand. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Paul Cooke admits the Dons are playing catch-up with the big kick off fast approaching.

Last week’s cancellation of the friendly clash at Dewsbury left the Dons with just the Hull practice game under their belts so far this pre-season.

And with only tomorrow’s home friendly with North Wales Crusaders left before the season starts next weekend, Cooke says preparations have not been ideal.

“I’d say we’re a bit under-cooked at the minute,” the head coach told the Star.

“In the Dewsbury game we would have given plenty of game time to the lads who are likely to start at Workington next week.

“We weren’t able to do that and we’re in a position now where all the lads need game time. So everyone will be getting a run out on Sunday.”

Cooke admits he has ‘seven or eight’ players locked in to start the opening game of the season and says the rest of the squad should be out to impress tomorrow in a bid for the other ten matchday spots.

He said: “Most of the lads can play their way into my plans if they put in a good performance tomorrow.

“A strong performance is what I’m after.”

Only Grant Edwards will be missing for the Dons after having an operation on his knee last month.

The game will put Cooke head to head with his boss at Doncaster Knights, Clive Griffiths, who is in charge of the Crusaders.

He said: “For both myself and Clive, the performance tomorrow will be more important than the result.

“But it would definitely be nice to get one over on the gaffer.”