Dewsbury Rams head coach Neil Kelly thanked the fans of both clubs for getting behind Paul Sykes’ Testimonial match yesterday afternoon.
Despite snowy conditions, more than a thousand turned out to celebrate Sykes’ career and see the Rams record a 24-0 win over Bradford Bulls.
“Tribute has to go to the crowd for getting down to the stadium in the harsh conditions,” said Kelly.
“To have over 1,000 people to come down today and watch the match says a lot about what people think of Paul, but it says a lot about the fans too.
“I think the players played some good football and we scored some very good tries, and, while they were tough conditions to play in, when it did work for us we managed to get over the line.”
Kelly selected just 18 players for the tie, as he steps up preparations ahead of the Betfred Championship opener against Sheffield Eagles on Friday 2nd February.
“I picked my 18 as I did because I wanted it to be as close to an actual league game as possible,” the Dewsbury boss explained.
“We have Sheffield Eagles in a few weeks and I wanted it to be as close to that situation as we could get it.
“I wanted to see where people were at regarding game time and fitness and to see whether they could do their jobs.
“They did that against Bradford, which was very good to see, and that squad will be roughly the one you will see playing Sheffield.
“It is still open for other people to claim their place, however I would say that 90% of that side will be playing against the Eagles.”
Kelly is still yet to welcome Jared Simpson and Jordan Crowther, who will arrive at the club for the start of the season after signing on loan from Huddersfield and Wakefield respectively.
“They’ll join us soon and that will make the squad stronger than what it already is.
“I don’t know about bringing anyone else in we’ll have to wait and see what happens on that front.”
The Rams begin the new campaign with consecutive home matches against Sheffield and London, and Kelly is keen for his players to turn The Tetley’s Stadium in to a fortress.
“We want to make this place a tough place to come, we know that people already see it as that, but we want teams to be intimidated when they come here,” he said.
“You can’t lose your first game at home if you want this place to be a fortress, so we need to get a win and get off to a good start.”