BEING involved in the Challenge Cup once again will be “special” for Crosfields’ players.

The club confirmed they have accepted an invitation to be part of next year’s competition, making it back-to-back Challenge Cup campaigns for the Hood Lane side.

READ > Crosfields invited to take part in 2019 Challenge Cup

They will be in the hat for the first round draw, which takes place at Headingley on Friday, December 13, with ties taking place on the weekend of January 26-27.

Head coach Ian Boden, who will be coaching in the prestigious knockout tournament for the first time, says a good run will aid his side in their National Conference League Division Two campaign.

“For the players, playing in the Challenge Cup is special,” he said.

“A good run will set us up nicely for the forthcoming season.

“With me not being involved with the first team last year, it will be my first taste of coaching in the Challenge Cup which I’m relishing and I’m hoping to take us in to the next round.

“Myself and (assistant coach) Steve Pickersgill are looking forward to the challenge and we want the players to be up to the task.”

Soap’s appearance in this year’s Challenge Cup was brief as they were beaten 28-0 by Rochdale Mayfield in a game that was streamed live on the BBC Sport website.

Boden is keen to make sure the players learn from what happened that afternoon.

“For 60 minutes we competed and kept ourselves in the game, but fitness and the higher league position told in the end,” he said.

“This year, we’re hoping to be fitter and more clinical in both attack and defence.

“The lads have been turning out in the numbers for pre-season with us training indoors on a Thursday and outside at the club.

“The experience of tasting defeat last year will give us something to focus on and we want to be chomping at the bit come game day.”

Soap finished their 2018 campaign in the Division Two play-offs before losing to Saddleworth Rangers in the semi-finals.