Marshall: 2015 squad have earned their chance

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall has said the club’s class of 2015 have earned the chance to see if they can build on their achievements next season.

Fax have so far released just one player - the forward Jack Spencer, who has joined Oldham - from the squad that finished fourth in the Championship before sealing an unexpected sixth-placed finish in the Super 8s Qualifiers.

Marshall has so far added three players from other clubs, the Featherstone Rovers pair Will Sharp and Gareth Moore and the Warrington forward Simon Grix, while a clutch of players from this year’s team, whose contracts expire next month, remain unaccounted for.

Fax have also been heavily linked with the Sheffield centre Sam Smeaton and another former Wolves player, the forward Gavin Bennion.

But Marshall gave the clearest indication yet that wholesale changes are unlikely, despite a transfer kitty that swelled considerably after Fax landed £787,000 in prize money.

“The players have got us into this position and they deserve the first shot at seeing if they can build on that achievement,” said Marshall.

“If we find the competition has strengthened, or we are behind where we think we are, then we will have the option to change things.

“But if we are where we believe we are, and with the guys who are coming in adding to the quality we already have, then I don’t think we’ll be too far away again.”

Another factor in Marshall’s thinking is the planned for reserve side, which, subject to RFL approval, should be up and running by the time Fax return to training - at their new base at Calderdale College - on November 10.

“We’ve got some players lined up for that team and we’re talking to coaches,” said Marshall.

“All being well, there will be players in that side that I would expect to push for first team places at some point next year.

“We’re looking for players who can play for Halifax at Championship level, but also for players who can go on and play Super League with us in the next few years.

“That’s the focus for us now.”

The Rugby Football League have also confirmed Fax will play Featherstone in next season’s Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool.

Fax and Rovers will be the final game of the weekend on Sunday, May 29, with a 5.15 kick off.