www.batleybulldogs.co.uk caught up with former Halifax three-quarter Lee Paterson on Thursday evening as he looks forward to Sunday's clash against his old club.
WEB: Thanks for catching up with us, Lee. So, how's pre-season work progressing?
LP: Ah, it's been tough, but I'm really enjoying it so far. The conditioning has been much the same as I was used to at Halifax, but not quite as long and definitely more intense! We're getting worked hard though, don't worry about that!
WEB: After figuring in the Boxing Day victory over Dewsbury, what did you make of your first Heavy Woollen derby?
LP: Yeah, it was a good atmosphere, plenty of people there and as a local derby I really enjoyed it. I thought we were okay, but the game showed us plenty of ways we can improve in attack. We probably made too many mistakes with ball-in-hand, and I was disappointed to let in a try down our side, but me and Blacky will sort that out. I'm very critical of myself and after kicking 8 out of 8 in practice, I can't believe I missed that conversion, but I hadn't actually kicked a ball for 10 months!
WEB: Are you looking forward to Sunday and getting stuck in against your old team-mates?
LP: Well, the weather forecast suggests it may not be a day for free-flowing rugby league. It looks likely to be a day for getting stuck in to be honest ... I know a lot of their lads, obviously, but I'm up for this one with my new team-mates and we will be looking to come away with a good win. Like I said, after Dewsbury we know we have a lot of improving to do and Halifax will provide a tough test; they are a top side and this will be a good test of how far we've come. The recent player swaps will give the game a high intensity but I'm expecting it to be a close score.
WEB: ... and then it'll be on to St Helens.
LP: Yep, it's always good to play against the stars you see on TV. Nobody will expect much from us, I guess, but it'll be a great opportunity to test ourselves.
WEB: Now you've been at the club a while, which guys have impressed you most on the training ground?
LP: Quite a few really. For fitness, Mark Applegarth - I've never seen anyone that fit before, and Miles Greenwood. Johnny Campbell has been giving 100% every time in training, and both Alistair Leak and Scott Leatherbarrow have been flying too. To be honest, we've all had a good pre-season and we're really looking forward to the season and seeing how far we can go.
WEB: And finally, are you pleased with your own progress?
LP: Well, I'm getting on a bit now (laughs). I'm really testing myself again and yeah, I guess I'm pretty happy with how things are going and I'm looking forward to the game on Sunday and hopefully I'll be involved in JK's team selection.
Lee Paterson was in conversation with Mark Ward. Follow him on twitter @leepato82