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Sheffield eyes quick return
1:21pm Thursday 5th September 2013 in Sport
Graeme Sheffield believes Keighley can bounce straight back to North One East – after admitting their one-season stint at the higher level was “a massive missed opportunity”.
The Rose Cottagers begin life back in Yorkshire One on Saturday at home to Scarborough after suffering relegation in the last campaign.
Sheffield accepts that an immediate return will not be easy but has the same core of players who achieved promotion via the play-offs in 2011-12. “We had meetings at the end of last season and the beginning of this and we realised we were not far away,” confessed Rose Cottage’s director of rugby.
“It was a massive missed opportunity and, Harry Titley apart, we have kept the core of the squad that took us up and who played last season.
“We have heard that some clubs are paying a reasonable amount of money and we are a strictly amateur club.
“But, although we know it will be difficult, we know we have it in us to bounce straight back. However, it is going to be a challenge, starting with Scarborough at home on Saturday.
“We also have Heath at home the following Saturday. It is nice to have two home matches but we are notoriously slow starters – something we have tried to address.”
Keighley have been boosted by the return of scrum half Ian Woodwiss (pictured), who has rejoined the club from Bradford Salem.
Sheffield said: “The Woodwisses are a Keighley family and he didn’t take much persuading.
“In the squad without being asked to come down are Worth Village rugby league players Liam Kelly (centre) and Dave Smith (prop).
“They have hardly missed a training session, while Evan Griffin, who is also a prop, is back after a series of injuries.”
In explaining 2012-13 player of the year Titley’s departure, Sheffield said: “Harry, who was a Leeds university student, couldn’t find a job up here and has gone back to the Midlands to his family to play for Burton.”
Unavailable for Saturday’s match are lock Bob Clarke, No 8 Leigh Sugden and prop Chris Morris (stress fracture of the foot).
Danny McGee has taken over the first-team captaincy, with Alex Brown and Stuart Inman as joint vice-captains.
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