Roberts brothers pen new one-year deals at Hunslet RLFC

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BROTHERS SHAUN and Dean Roberts are staying at Hunslet after each signing a new one-year contract.

The pair impressed coach Gary Thornton after joining the Parksiders midway through last season.

Shaun Roberts.

Shaun Roberts.

Shaun, a 24-year-old half-back, made four appearances for the club in 2017, three fewer than his brother, 21, who can play in the centres or back-row.

“Shaun and Dean came late in the season last year and showed some real potential during their short time here,” Thornton said.

“I’m really pleased to have them on board for next season and I’m sure they will benefit enormously from a full pre-season with the squad.

“They are both very popular members and hopefully they can kick on in 2018 and prove their value to the group.”

Of Shaun, who was signed from the Moorends-Thorne community club, Thornton added: “He made his debut at Toronto, which was a real baptism of fire for him coming from the amateur game, but he conducted himself and adapted to the situation really well and showed some real promise.

“He is developing his game all the time and playing and training with better players will help him improve his decision-making skills and develop into a better half-back.

“Because he came into the squad late last year I thought it was important we gave him the opportunity to come in and do a full pre-season with us.

“He has a fantastic attitude and is a very likeable person to have around the place and I hope he takes the challenge with both hands.

“He will create some real competition for places in the halves and is a confident young man and is backing himself to push on next season.”

Dean, who had a spell on trial with York City Knights before signing for Hunslet, played in the League One Shield final victory over London Skolars.

Thornton said: “Dean got his opportunity in the play-off games and really impressed the coaching staff.

“He is a big, strong lad who has the potential to develop into a top class forward at this level.

“He’s still very young and, like Shaun, has a great attitude and approach to training and playing.

“We will be working really hard with him in pre-season, to get him bigger and stronger and develop his skillset.

“He showed he can be a real handful in the few games he played and has the potential to really flourish in our environment.

“Although he came to us as a back-rower we see potential for him to push up to the front-row eventually, but we will assess the situation over pre-season and see where we think he will be best utilised.

“Again, training and playing with better players will benefit him no end.”

Shaun insisted he can push for a regular place in the first team next year.

“I feel I owe Hunslet a lot as they gave me a shot last year and the fans showed faith in Gary’s decision to bring me into the club,” he said.

“The only way to repay them is to go out there next year and give 100 per cent.

“The club are heading in the right direction and with the quality of players we’ve brought in there’s no reason why we can’t be fighting for that top spot.”

His brother is also in confident mood. He said: “After the success of winning the Shield and having a good run of game time to the back end of the season it excites me to see what this year is going to bring.

“The feeling around the club after our initial meeting seems to be very positive and everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, so that can only help towards our aim of gaining promotion.”