Perrin plots big season for Rangers
AMBITIOUS Underbank Rangers are determined to mount a serious bid for glory in the newly-named Conference National League.
The club from The Cross have made changes, both on and off the field, to guarantee they make their biggest-ever impact on the competition, which used to be called National League III.
On the field, player-coach Aaron Perrin has added nine new players to their squad for the 2007 campaign.
Moving to Holmfirth are England Lionhearts internationals Carl Leach and Richard Lofthouse, former Bramley Buffaloes player Darren Greenwood and ex-Sheffield Hawks, National League III player and local junior John Birt.
On top of that, Underbank have five recruits from Down Under.
They include winger James Price from Toowoomba Brothers, flying Fijian wing Napoleon Vinala, hooker or half-back Peter Adam and back-row forward Matt Reis, both from the West Belconnen club in Canberra, plus the return of 2006 star captain Dave Edwards.
Unfortunately, highly-rated centre Leigh Rangitonga from Como-Jinnali has recently had to return back to Australia to tend to his sick father.
Great things are expected from all the new players.
But there are very high hopes for the 18-year-old Reis, who arrives with a great pedigree having played for the Canberra Raiders junior representative teams for the past three years.
These players will join some of the best young players from within the Underbank club and Huddersfield area to form what will be potentially one of the strongest squads in the competition.
There have also been some positive moves off the field, with the experienced pairing of Mark Booth and Peter Walsh joining Matt Larder and Perrin on the coaching front.
Rangers have also been boosted by the recruitment of former Hull KR player Andy Peacock, who owns the Warehouse Gymnasium in Honley, to carry out the pre-season work and general conditioning.
Head coach Perrin is still looking to add enthusiastic and talented players to the squad, which is now in full training on both Tuesday and Thursday nights at the Underbank club.
And as part of the pre-season build-up, a squad training camp will be held in Scarborough on Sunday, March 11.
Meanwhile, two trial games have now been confirmed.
Rangers travel to face Keighley Under 21s on Thursday, March 15 and then entertain Widnes Under 21s on Saturday, March 24.