New Hunslet deal for ex-Leeds Rhinos forward Harvey Whiteley
Former Leeds Rhinos hooker Harvey Whiteley has signed a new contract keeping him at Hunslet for the 2022 season.
The 23-year-old, who has also played for Dewsbury Rams, joined Hunslet in August on a short-term contract.
“I had no hesitation at all in re-signing," Whiteley - who works for Rhinos' foundation - said.
"I’m keen to see how I can go after a good pre-season, with even more game-time under my belt.
"It’s good to be at Hunslet and an added factor which can only help is that I’m a local lad and only live down the road, at Woodlesford.
“I was over the moon when I got the call in August from [coach]Alan Kilshaw.
"The lads, including the senior players, were very welcoming.
"They and Alan helped me play better and I quickly felt very settled here."
Whiteley added: “Training and the build-ups to matches was good and we really felt we should have pushed harder for promotion, but ultimately two or three drawn games cost us.
"Otherwise we would have finished much higher in the league and been much better placed in the promotion play-offs.
“I’m looking forward to doing my best in front of our loyal and vocal fans.
"It will be a good year, with a young and eager squad.”
Whiteley featured in Betfred Super League for Rhinos last year, but was playing for Oulton Raiders in the amateur game's National Conference before Hunslet snapped him up.
Rob Burrow was one of his coaches and Leeds and he described the Rhinos legend as "an excellent coach to our young lads and a big influence on me".
Whiteley said: “Rob had the balance just right, he was ready to have a good laugh, but he always knew just when to get serious.
"He taught me so much about what to do on the pitch and made sure I always knew just why I was doing it.
"It’s very sad what has happened to him, he means so much to all the players, who he nurtured so well.
“I’ve picked up a lot from all the coaches I’ve played under, including at Dewsbury Rams when I went there before returning to Oulton.
"I think it’s important all rugby league players never stop learning and I’ll be doing that until the end of my career.”
Kilshaw was pleased with Whjiteley's impact after joining the Parksiders.
“I’m delighted to keep Harvey for next season," the Hunslet coach said.
"He has shown a fantastic attitude and he’s the type of player that fits our model of how we want to build the team.
“He’s young, he’s a local lad, he’s been in good systems and he has huge potential.
“I really think he had a breakthrough game in the good win at Workington in the last round of the season and showed a glimpse of what he can do at this level.
"With a settled pre-season and playing in a settled spine, I think we can be very excited with the signing of Harvey.
"I’m looking forward to him thriving in the Hunslet environment in 2022.”
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