Captain Riley believes in a top of the table finish

Sedgley Park’s record against eventual league winners Caldy last season gives Matt Riley belief that the Tigers can challenge towards the top two places in 2017/18.

Sedge finished fourth last term, but were the only side to beat champions Caldy throughout the whole of the campaign.

They met at the start and end of the season with Sedge clinching a 16-13 victory in September before edging the second encounter 35-34 on the final day of the campaign.

And that experience, Riley feels, does give Sedge confidence heading into the new season.

“National Two North is a strong league, but our results against Caldy showed that we can beat anyone on our day,” the Sedge captain said.

“We just need to improve our overall results and consistency because that is what held us back last year.

“It just shows how tough this league is. With the likes of Blaydon and Macclesfield also joining the league this year, there will be no easy matches.”

Riley can also only see the positives following the appointment of new Head Coach Matt Bebbington as the side look to take that next step this term.

“Obviously I know Bebbs from Widnes, but he is already improving the team and it is exciting times for the club. Everything is very detailed and we are working on getting better in each training session,” the centre added.

“We certainly had the ability last season to go towards the top spots, but we had some performances and results which were not great. We were very Jekyll and Hyde which was shown throughout the course of the season and Bebbs as already made us aware of that.

“Those wins at Caldy show exactly what we can do and we just need to make it a habit this year. For me, we are not setting targets. It is about performing to our best in every game. That is the next step.”

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