25th January 2020, 10:29 | ChallengeCup

Underbank Rangers looking for first Round Three appearance

Underbank Rangers looking for first Round Three appearance

Huddersfield-based Underbank Rangers are recently celebrated their 135th birthday and it could be a special year for the club as they are on the brink of making the Third Round of the Coral Challenge Cup for the first time.

Speaking on BBC Radio Leeds' West Yorkshire Sport Daily Show, Head Coach Richard Knight discussed this weekend's tie and Underbank's preperations.

Knight, said: “We don’t have a pitch for pre-season in the winter as we don’t have any floodlights.

“We go to a Boxing gym on Tuesday nights and on Friday nights we try and find somewhere that’s not soaking and has some floodlights so that we can get a ball and do some work.

“We’ve always struggled to start seasons just because we don’t have the facilities, so the Challenge Cup gives us chance to get our hands on a ball and use them as some ‘trial’ games.

“We’ve got a pretty good bunch of loyal blokes who’ve been with me a long time; some of them have been here for the 11 years that I’ve been here and always rock up on the cold nights and put the hard work in. 

“The added incentive is that we’re playing in the Challenge Cup and it’s the national competition and there’s a chance for these boys to get some recognition and get to the Third Round.”

If Underbank were to overcome Distington in Round Two, they could potentially be paired against a semi-professional side from Betfred League 1 which would be massive reward for the club, Knight feels. 

He said: “Personally, for me, it would be good for me to coach and amateur side against a professional side.

“But secondly for the boys who don’t get paid and give up their time to test themselves against professional opposition giving them that opportunity would be fantastic. 

“We’ve been going 135 years there’s nobody who is quite that age at the club but some of the older blokes have been around the club for 50 years.

“For them to get the chance to experience Underbank against a professional side and take in the atmosphere and enjoy themselves for a day rather than running around painting lines and collecting glasses and everything else they do at the club just to say thank you for what they’ve done over the years.”

You can listen to Richard Knight’s full interview on BBC Radio Leeds’ West Yorkshire Daily Sport show here.