Doncaster remain vigilant in face of honest and earnest opposition

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Doncaster Knights captain Matt Challinor says his promotion favourites will continue to pay the utmost respect to National One.

The team relegated from last year’s Championship have claimed maximum points from their opening five games, in part because they did not go into each encounter believing they had a divine right to win.

Doncaster are a rare breed in the third tier – a full-time team with preparation time to burn.

But, says Challinor, disrespecting that division by not doing due diligence on their opponents would only see them get caught out.

“It’s still a very strong division and we respect it and the players competing in it very highly,” said Challinor, whose side lead the race for the one promotion spot back into the Championship.

“We are still preparing as diligently as we did when we were in the Championship, watching game tape and preparing meticulously.

“We’re certainly not disrespecting this division. None of the players we brought in are that type of character. We’re taking every game seriously.

“A lot of teams have got three or four really talented players, whereas in the Championship there are squads stacked full of talented players.

“But that’s not to play down the amount of honest guys there are working hard in day jobs in the week and then fighting hard on a Saturday.”

Next up is Richmond away, a journey down to the capital that was made more agonising yesterday by the fact that their bus broke down en route and the players were left stood by the motorway for two hours.

Not that this dampened the spirit among a group of players who are enjoying winning again after the struggles of last season.

Challinor said: “It makes a big change from last year, it’s nice to be winning games and coming into training with a smile on your face.

“We are still finding our feet in the division. We’ve had a massive turnover of players and we are still gelling together. We have been getting stronger as the weeks have gone on and there is still plenty to come from us.”

Hull Ionians’ search for a first win continues at home to fellow strugglers Blaydon.