Kear keen to end Castleford's Tetley's Challenge Cup dream
Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear is relishing the prospect of masterminding another Tetley’s Challenge Cup shock when the Championship side welcome his home-town club Castleford Tigers to the Loverugbyleague.com Stadium on Sunday (2.00pm).
Kear, who grew up in Castleford, played on the wing for the Tigers and used to operate the scoreboard at Wheldon Road but is now preparing the Championship side to beat the team he grew up supporting.
“It’s a really special draw for me, I have a great emotional tie with Castleford Tigers.” said Kear. “I always look out for their score and I like to see how they are doing. I’m so pleased for Daryl Powell and the club with how well they have started the season.
“I’d love for us to produce a massive upset, it’s the romance of the Cup isn’t it? The draw has everything, potential giant killings, Super League clashes and Championship ties, it’s what it’s all about.
“There’s always an upset in every round and I would love it to be Batley Bulldogs knocking out Castleford Tigers in this round but we know it will be difficult.”
Having won the Tetley’s Challenge Cup final twice before with Sheffield Eagles in 1998 and Hull FC in 2005, Kear has a good understanding of what it takes to progress in the competition.
“They are full time athletes and it will be a big test but we won’t be stuck on knowledge about them that’s for sure. We will look at them closely and have a good idea of what to expect,” he said.
“We need our fans to get behind us, it’s going to be a great atmosphere and I think a lot of Cas fans will make the journey. They will fancy their chances obviously but if we perform well on the day I will be delighted.”
The famous Cup has special memories for players, coaches and fans alike but Kear struggles to pinpoint his favourite hoping that he could create one more on Sunday.
“I have too many favourite memories of the Challenge Cup to mention, I love how every year the competition produces story after story and I hope the fourth round story will be Batley beating Cas.”
Tickets for the Tetley’s Challenge Cup fourth round tie between Batley Bulldogs v Castleford Tigers are priced at £15 (adults) £10 (concessions) and £3 (children). Tickets can be purchased from the LoveRugbyLeague.com Stadium ticket office or from the Castleford Tigers Retail Shop. Please note that this game is all-ticket.