Guzdek on Eagles new style, Doncaster victory and Keighley fixture
Josh Guzdek says the Eagles squad will head into their final pre-season fixture against Keighley Cougars with confidence following a 38-16 win over Doncaster last weekend.
The Red and Golds’ first game of 2020 ended with the South Yorkshire Cup being raised by Mark Aston’s men as four tries in the final ten minutes saw the game turn on its head.
With six off-season signings, and trialist James Mulvany, involved against the Dons, Guzdek is also happy with the progress made towards the Eagles’ new style of play.
“It was a good performance, it’s always nice to get a win,” he commented.
“There’s a few things to work on but we still have a couple of weeks left before the season starts to put that right.
“We have a new way of playing, new combinations with the likes of Izaac (Farrell) coming into the team, Corey (Makelim) at half-back and Robbie (Ward) at hooker.
"The new lads are getting used to how we play, it’s positive and we’re heading in the right direction.
“The backend of the game, we got into our stride a bit and we realised what Tubbs and the coaching staff have been asking of us in terms of building tempo.
“It was good to get to grips with it, things started to come off and our execution was better.
“It wasn’t happening for most of the game as we did have chances to score more, so we were a bit disappointed with that.”
An injury to Connor Bower meant changes had to be made, which included Guzdek moving to centre from full-back, Makelim to full-back from stand-off and Farrell Jnr going to 6.
Commenting on his own versatility, as well as his teammates, Guzdek added: “It is good to have - knowing if someone gets injured then we can cover a few spots,”
“Corey (Makelim) started out at half (against Doncaster) but Connor (Bower) went off with an elbow knock so we had a bit of time to try out those combinations again.
“I went to centre again, Corey moved to full-back and that allowed Izaac to come on and play in the halves.
“We’re in a good position as we have a few players who can play in different positions, so we do have the cover which is always good as the nature of rugby league is that injuries do happen.”
This Sunday will be a little reunion for Guzdek as he returns to Keighley, where he enjoyed a loan spell in 2015.
Six tries in seven games for the Cougars impressed Dewsbury enough to sign Guzdek from Hull KR ahead of the 2016 season.
The full-back has good memories of his short stint at Cougar Park.
"They gave me an opportunity at an important time of my career as I was heading towards the end of my contract with Hull KR,” Guzdek reflected.
“They gave me a chance to get some good game time and I enjoyed it under Paul March during my time at the club.
“They have a good set of fans and the atmosphere was good on a game day.
“It will be good to see familiar faces again down at Keighley again.”
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If you are going to Cougar Park this weekend, please buy in advance from our ticket site.
By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman