NEW LEEDS Rhinos signing Jack Ormondroyd is already feeling the benefits of the step-up to full-time training.
The former Featherstone Rovers man is in his second week at Rhinos and looking to make a big impression on his new team-mates and coaches.
“It has been really good,” said the 6ft 5ins forward, who is beginning a three-year contract.
“It is really different for me. I have been part-time so it was a bit daunting the first Monday morning because I didn’t really know what to expect, but as soon as I got there I realised they are a great set of lads and the coaching staff are great as well, which is a big help.
“I am grateful for the opportunity of going to Leeds and being able to train with the first team. I think it is something I need to help me develop.”
Ormondroyd gave up a job working for Bradford City’s foundation to go full-time with Rhinos. His father Ian played football professionally for clubs including Bradford, Aston Villa, Leicester, Derby and Hull.
“Featherstone is a good standard, but it is hard working all day and then going training at night,” he said.
“I don’t think you can train to your full potential, but being full-time you can do that. The other morning I had a massage, I have got another one tomorrow and stuff like that I am not really used to. It makes a big difference.”
Ormondroyd was a late starter in rugby league, having played football until he was 16.
“I got into rugby because my mates at school played,” he recalled. “They were short, I ended up playing and I preferred it. I’ve never looked back.”
The 25-year-old played for the Drighlington community club and watched Bradford Bulls as a youngster.
“I did one training session with Bradford,” he said. “I had a choice between Featherstone and Bradford.
“I went to a training session at Featherstone and I liked the vibe more. I did a couple of years in the academy there, went to Australia and then came back and got into the first team at Fev.
“That was halfway through the season before last and I was in the team all last season. Once I got into the first team at Fev, going full-time was something I wanted to do.”
Ormondroyd will wear the No 23 jersey for Rhinos next year and knows he faces strong competition for a spot in the team.
“All I can do is train hard and do my best to impress Brian [McDermott] and the coaching staff,” he said. “Hopefully I can get a place in the first team. If not I will probably play back at Featherstone [on dual-registration], which is not a bad thing. That will help my development, so it is a win-win.”
Ormondroyd played alongside several members of Rhinos’ squad when they were loaned to or dual-registered with Rovers last year.
Ormondroyd added: “When you get out on the field you can see the step-up. There’s some really talented young players here who have got big futures – and they are a great set of lads, which is important.”