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Forster Urges Local Backing Ahead Of Keighley Clash

North Wales Crusaders head coach Carl Forster is calling on supporters to rally behind his side as they prepare to welcome Keighley Cougars to Stadiwm CSM, Colwyn Bay, on Sunday.

Forster's side have enjoyed a brake in league action following a narrow defeat at the hands of Hunslet three weeks ago, and will now look to return to winning ways against a Keighley side hotly tipped for promotion.

Speaking ahead of the game, Forster said: "The boys had ten days off after the Hunslet game, and the break has really benefited us.

"There's been a bit of a spring in the step, we've done some pre-season style training getting the running done, and it all leads to this weekend."

Crusaders last encountered Keighley on April 14th, where they came up short 22-6 and Forster hopes that muscle memory comes into play: "You've got to have a little look at when we last played them, we will look at what worked well, what didn't work, especially from a coaching point of view, we will have a game plan.

"It's a new week, they were unbeaten when we last played them, they're not now, that will create a bit of belief in the group that they are beatable, but we know they are going to come here to get the win and we will expect an reaction to their last defeat last time out against Hunslet."

Crusaders will hoping to welcome back Matt Reid and Ben Evans while Jake Burns has been recalled to St Helens.

Forster said: "Not having Jake in the team is a huge loss, but I know those who are coming in will want to grab their shirt and do themselves justice, that will be good to see.

"Having Matt Reid and Ben Evans back in the squad will give us experience, and those two respectively coming back in is a blessing for us."

Forster is expecting a tough tussle from the visitors and is looking forward to reuniting with Junior Sau: "I was at Salford with Junior, he still playing like a Super League player, we will try and get him on that left hand edge, and we need to get up and be aggressive, put bodies in the picture to stop the threat, we will show them all the respect they deserve, but not too much respect."

With the club having launched their #BackTheCru appeal in during the week, Forster issued a rallying cry for supporters to get behind the team this weekend: "Firstly, as a playing group, we've spoken about it, we've not been effected by it as a playing group, we've got the easiest job, we've just got to go out there and play rugby, and that's what I've reminded the group.

"The lads just need to enjoy it, it's a good game for us, the fact there is no pressure and we want to go out there and put a show on for the fans that do come out week in week out."

Forster added: "The bigger picture is the future of the club, not necessarily this fixture.

"The club have experienced some great times before I was coach at North Wales, you can see that on social media, obviously it's been good times since I've been here as well with last season's play-off run, the fans are always behind us and their support means the world.

"We just want the support, we want the club to be successful.

"We've got to play the cards we are dealt, and we need that support moving forward beyond this week, it's not about this week, it's about this season, next season and building for the future to ensure we always have a strong and competitive North Wales Crusaders.

"Our fans give us the uplift we need every game and that's the reward, they were amazing through the play-offs last season, they were reason we got through the Oldham and Hunslet games.

"The players play for the validation from the spectators, it's a real feel good factor when you get the fans and when you get that from them.

"Its a really important cog in the club, without fans there is no club.

"Times are hard, the financial side of life is tough and our club has fallen to that, but I urge fans to donate however little or big as it will go a long way towards the future of this fantastic club."


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