New Ovenden boss Gareth is aiming high

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Ovenden open their Division Two campaign at home to Widnes West Bank tomorrow, with new coach Gareth English talking about a top-three finish.

The Four Fields outfit were in the promotion hunt for the first half of last season before suffering a spectacular collapse.

But English, who has succeeded Gareth Jones, will start 2013 with the same playing squad and lofty ambition.

“It’s the same squad, although we’ll promote a couple of young players from within the club,” said prop English who played as a professional with Halifax and Keighley.

“Reece Ogden and Jack Sutcliffe who were in our under 18s last season have both done well in pre season and I think they’ll be in the squad through the year.

“We’ve still got a couple of people missing through injury, but I don’t see any reason not to be confident.

“The aim has to be a top three finish and getting out of this division.”

A winning start would build both belief and momentum, and English anticipates home advantage being potentially crucial this weekend.

“We’ve always been a difficult side to beat at home and we’d like that to be the case again this year,” said English, whose side have narrowly lost both their pre-season outings, 24-12 at Premier Division neighbours Siddal and a 22-14 reverse against Pennine League outfit Halifax Irish.