Welcome everybody to this weekly column where we hope to give you an insight into what has been happening and is happening as we prepare for our first game of rugby league for a whole year.

It still seems quite surreal to think that our last match was played on March 7, 2020!

The period since then has been a mixture of frustration, as the players have been unable to train for months, anxiety, as we did not know what would happen with the 2020 season, the financial strain on the club of having no income but still having most of the costs, but most importantly the pressure of the pandemic caused by Covid-19 and all the worries that brought to everybody.

Whilst the onset of the vaccines has helped us to turn a corner as a country, as a club it is still nearly a year since we had income.

The period in between has seen us try to be innovative in raising funds and making sure we stay afloat and the backing we have had from our sponsors and fans alike has been excellent.

Sponsors did not ask for money back on their deals for 2020 and the same happened with season ticket holders and we are incredibly grateful for that.

Throughout we have done our best to plan for the future, despite not knowing what that might look like and I think most people agree that, one of the things we have been able to do is assemble a squad that we sincerely hope can make it’s mark on the 2021 Betfred Championship season.

Our season starts officially on Saturday, March 20 against Barrow Raiders in the Challenge Cup but before that we have two friendlies against Featherstone on March 6 and Halifax on March 13.

The lads are chomping at the bit to get back into action after so long but even that will be very different with no scrums and several other new rules for 2021.

Even our pre-season training schedule has had to be very different with training not allowed to start until December and then paused for a further two weeks in January as we went into lockdown again.

We are very lucky that we are classed as ‘elite sport’ and therefore throughout the lockdown we have been able to continue to train – subject to the exacting protocols put in place by the Rugby Football League.

More of that next week when I will give you a flavour of what being an elite sportsman entails at the moment in terms of the protocols you have to follow.