Sharlston Rovers target start of trophy haul in Yorkshire Cup final

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SHARLSTON Rovers are out to bag their first trophy of the season and book a place in next season’s Challenge Cup with victory in the Yorkshire Cup Final on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

The Pennine League Premier side take on Championship opponents Nevison Leap at Featherstone Rovers’ Big Fellas Stadium looking to lift the trophy for the first time in three years.

Sharlston last won the competition in 2009 when they beat Hunslet Old Boys and head coach Gordy Long says winning the competition is one of his side’s goals for the season.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” he said.

“We’ve not been in the final for a few years so one of the aims this year was to win it.

“You get a place in next season’s Challenge Cup so that’s another incentive for us.

“It was disappointing to miss out on that last season. People come to this club to play in the Challenge Cup so we have to make sure we get one of those places.”

The Weeland Road club are enjoying a good season so far.

They have lost just once in the league and can go top if they win their games in hand, and also remain in every cup competition.

Long is setting his sights high this term with ambitions of winning “every competition” they are involved in - and their first silverware of the season this weekend would represent the perfect start to that quest.

“It would be fantastic to get a trophy in the cabinet before Christmas,” he said.

“We have a good squad this season and everything is looking rosy. Last season the squad was not big enough but we’ve changed that.

“We’re going into every competition looking to win everything.”

Rovers will be favourites on Saturday but Long knows Nevison, mid-table in the Championship but with games in-hand, will provide stern opposition.

One advantage for the Rovers boss, however, is the fact he knows plenty of the Leap side thanks to his summer coaching with Featherstone Lions in 2011.

“I know all of their squad,” he said.

“They’re all a good bunch of lads who can play so I know it’s going to be tough.

“It also helps me prepare my lads though so that’s good for us and we’re all confident that we can get the win.”

Rovers have a clean bill of health going into the game and Long will leave it until the night before the game until deciding his final squad.

“We’re injury free but I’ve still got decide on three or four places,” he said.

“We’ll be training on Thursday and Friday and I’ll decide after training on Friday who is going to be in my squad.

“I’ll have to leave a few players out and I never like doing that so it’s going to be tough.”

Long has also revealed that Chris Aiton, brother of Wakefield Wildcats star Paul, will play for the club for the rest of the season.

Aiton, who arrived in England from Australian club Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles, was due to sign for Dewsbury Rams for the 2013 season but visa problems prevented him.

Rams’ loss is Rovers’ gain, and Aiton is due to make his debut in the new year.

Rovers squad from: Jackson, Hick, Davies, Glassell, Wilson, Hill, Wandless, Bingham, Gamble, Emblem, Waddle, Lingard, Glassell, Childs, Saynor, Crowther, Mallinder, Cryer, Barnett, McHugh, Saville, Wallis, Williams.

Admission on Saturday is £5 adults and £2 concessions.

See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.