OVENDEN player-coach Gareth Jones is delighted with the impact made by his new assistant Luke Ambler.
The Four Fields men made a winning start to the first National Conference summer season with a 26-20 win at Crosfields last Saturday and they will be looking to follow up at home to Shaw Cross Sharks tomorrow (2.30).
Ambler, who is on loan to Halifax from Leeds, has been making his mark at training on Tuesday and Thursday nights and Jones said: “He seems to have given us a bit more resolve than we have had in the past.
“The numbers are good at training and while Luke is working the lads hard, they are coming off with a smile on their faces.”
Jones thought Ovenden’s fitness helped see them through last week after a far from ideal build up.
The kick off in Warrington was delayed by 20 minutes after some of Jones’s men had got lost en route.
“Our preparation was not the best but we still put up a decent performance,” said Jones.
Ex-Illingworth player Niall Brady revelled in the fullback role, scoring two tries, and Jones feels he could be the answer to what has been a problem position for Ovenden in the past.
Centre Shaun Smith is likely to come in against Sharks, who overturned a sizeable deficit to win 24-18 at home to fancied league newcomers Widnes West Bank six days ago.
Jones, though, is confident. “At home we don’t fear anyone.”