Halifax have finalised their pre-season fixture schedule, with Championship rivals Keighley, Dewsbury and Batley all on the agenda for Karl Harrison’s Northern Rail Cup winners.
Fax will visit Cougar Park on Boxing Day for a noon kick off, where three of last season’s squad - backs James Haley and Paul White and forward Sean Hesketh - have joined an already sizeable contingent of former Shay players.
Harrison will then take his players to Rams Stadium on Sunday, January 6, before rounding things off with a home game against John Kear’s Batley on Sunday, January 20. The Batley fixture remains subject to RFL approval.
“We tried to a get a game against a Super League club, and it would have been nice to face that standard of opposition, but nothing was forthcoming,” said Harrison.
“As it is, we are facing three teams from our own competition; sides that will all have improved significantly over the winter.
“I think our priorities in those games are going to be slightly different to last year, simply because we haven’t had the same turnover of players this year.
“We are not starting from scratch like we were 12 months ago, although we still have a lot to do.”
Fax’s initial preparations for 2013 began last night, with a squad get together at the Shay.
The real work starts next week, with the start of a gruelling Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Sunday training schedule that will run through until Christmas.
“Last night was just about getting everyone together; players, staff, directors,” said Harrison.
“The players got their kit, the new faces were introduced and we told everyone what we expect of them.
“From Monday, we’re into the training with a really physical two week block.
“We’re doing four days a week right through until the Keighley game, mixing things up with field sessions, skills work, gym and video.
“We’ve got the programme planned out until the middle of January, then things will change a bit as we get closer to the start of the season.”