5th May 2018, 08:45 | championship
Since the arrival of Jermaine Coleman three seasons ago, London Skolars have been looking up in League 1.
Coleman, a former Skolars player himself, has brought the likes of ex Super League duo Omari Caro and Vinny Finigan to the New River Stadium after guiding the club to the League 1 Shield final last season.
Finigan has been at London for the past two months and he has been impressed with the club’s professional footing and a squad filled with potential.
“I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said.
“I’m a big fan of Jermaine.
“London Skolars are a team to be reckoned with. They have been slowly developing for years and players have come to Skolars because of Jermaine and how he is as a coach.
“It’s a real professional setup at the Skolars, the facilities are great.”
Currently ninth in the table, one point adrift of Newcastle who are in the final playoff spot, London – by Finigan’s own admission – are “a dark horse team”.
But the ex-Keighley man is confident his new side can challenge for a top five spot, saying: “I think we are definitely in contention for the playoffs, we just need to be smart against the teams below us,”
“We were rocky at the beginning of the season, we made some mistakes but had some good results.
“I think we are definitely have the potential to make the playoffs.
“We have not got stylish players compared to the likes of York but we are working with what we have.
“We have two (League 1) teams down in the south with us and Hemel and whenever clubs came to play London, they used to think they had an easy game but now that is out of the window.
“We have proved when you play London Skolars, we are a dark horse team."
Get your discounted tickets for Sat 5th May 3pm v @Doncaster_RLFC. Watch the lads after a great away win v @CoventryBearsRL. Buy your tickets here https://t.co/uwWmE8hebd @LondonRL @LondonSE_RL @southern_rl @South_RL— London Skolars 🎓🏉 (@LondonSkolarsRL) April 29, 2018
The next two matches will test the Skolars squad to its limit as they host Doncaster and Whitehaven.
Having lost heavily to York and Newcastle so far this season, lessons need to be learnt if London are to come away with anything as Finigan admitted: “We need to work on a few things,”
"The way I look at it against the likes of York, Haven, Doncaster is that they have got something to lose but we haven’t.
"We need to do the good things, prepare well (although) we have not done too well with injuries in the past few weeks.
"It’s important to get the win but it’s also important to perform well collectively.”
But even if the Skolars are unable to cause a shock against the big-hitters, there is still a lot of room for optimism in the capital.