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Saturday, 23 August 2014

‘Get your hands on a winners’ medal’

PERHAPS we’ll never know if Halifax coach Matt Calland regrets the boast that his side were the best team in the Championship by ‘a country mile’.

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DETERMINED: Halifax coach Matt Calland is aiming for the Super League

After that comment, following a golden-point Challenge Cup defeat to Castleford, his side never looked the dominating force they had been at the start of the season.

But that has not taken away the determination in the Fax camp to overcome a disappointing end of the campaign by reversing the semi-final play-off defeat to Barrow in tomorrow’s Grand Final.

Fax have won only two of their last eight games, but Calland believes the 36-30 semi-final victory over Featherstone Rovers last week will help push them on to victory.

“It’s a good platform, but there’s still improvement to be made,” he said.

“We’ve had a full week to enjoy the build-up and now we can’t wait for the Grand Final – it’s a dream come true. We’re over the moon to be in the final. And I feel as though a lead weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

“We hadn’t been playing well, but the enthusiasm and the effort of the players saw us through.”

The Halifax coach is confident a place in the Grand Final is a sign of things to come for the West Yorkshire side, but has warned the squad to make the most of their opportunities on Sunday.

“We’ve got a really strong side now, we’ve ticked a box for a Super League licence, the new stand is happening at the stadium, we just need to get more fans in,” added Calland.

“Hopefully being in a big final will keep the crowds growing.

“I’ve told the players from experience – there’s no worse feeling than losing a game like this. Get your hands on those winners’ medals.”

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