Calland keen on positives

HALIFAX coach Matt Calland believes the loss of yesterday’s Northern Rail Cup fixture at Whitehaven will enable his squad to extract maximum benefit from this week’s Spanish training camp.

Fax were due to fly out of Manchester at 7am this morning bound for a five-day stint at a resort in Murcia.

And they were travelling without the bumps and bruises of yesterday’s scheduled date on the Cumbrian coast, which was called off at 9.30am because of a waterlogged pitch.

Calland reported his matchday squad, which included a number of players desperate to make an impression ahead of next weekend’s final group game against holders Batley, were “gutted” by the cancellation.

“They’d prepared all week for it and they really wanted to play,” said Calland.

“It’s disappointing, but you’ve got to look for positives and the good thing to come out of this is that it will help us get the best out of this week.

“Normally, you’d expect a two day recovery period after a game and we’d accounted for that in the original training schedule.

“As it’s turned out, we’ll be able to get stuck in straight away and have a much more intense week.

“We should be better prepared for the Batley game as a result.”

No new date for the trip to the Recreation Ground has been set, although the midweek following the Batley game - running up to what should be the formality of a Challenge Cup victory over Castleford amateurs Lock Lane - seems the most likely option.

Elsewhere, Fax have again been linked with the Papua New Guinea centre Jessie Joe Parker, the former St George Illawarra player who spent the first half of last season with Featherstone.

Club officials have never admitted an interest in Parker, although his agent David Howes said today his client “would be keen to come”.

But Courier Sport understands there is a significant question mark over the ability of Parker - who signed and was then released from a two year Super League deal with Wakefield - to secure the necessary immigration paperwork.

Northern Rail Cup scores - page 33