Hat­ton’s switch now per­ma­nent

Rochdale Observer - - TRAVEL -

ROCHDALE Hor­nets have signed Lewis Hat­ton from War­ring­ton Wolves on a per­ma­nent deal, fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful loan spell at the end of the 2017 sea­son.

The for­ward spent a loan spell at the Crown Oil Arena in which he fea­tured 10 times, and was cru­cial in se­cur­ing their Cham­pi­onship sta­tus.

He rep­re­sented the Wolves’ re­serves side too, but is now look­ing for­ward to his first full sea­son at Rochdale.

“The lads re­ally made me feel wel­come right from the start,” ad­mit­ted Hat­ton. “I re­ally en­joy the feel of the club and that’s partly why I signed.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to get­ting stuck in with the lads and hope­fully get a lot of game times next year.”

His de­but came in France in a 56-16 de­feat to Toulouse Olympique, which led to a con­sis­tent run in Alan Kil­shaw’s side.

The fix­tures at re­serve grade were ir­reg­u­lar as not all clubs run a team at that level, so Hat­ton found it hard to get up to speed at first, be­fore find­ing his feet at the back end of the sea­son.

“I’m re­ally grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity Rochdale gave me against Toulouse.

“I thought I was pretty in­con­sis­tent at first, but once I started get­ting a bit of reg­u­lar game time I picked up my form a lit­tle bit.

“It was ir­reg­u­lar games all the time dur­ing the start of the sea­son with War­ring­ton, which isn’t the club’s fault it’s the re­serves sys­tem.

“I was lack­ing a bit of fit­ness and game aware­ness at the start of my time with Rochdale, but I en­joyed hav­ing the game time.”

Hat­ton will have a full pre-sea­son un­der his belt come the start of the 2018 sea­son, and he is look­ing to utilise that by ready­ing him­self for the phys­i­cal­ity of play­ing in the front row at Cham­pi­onship level.

“I can’t wait for pre-sea­son,” he added. “I’m look­ing to put a bit of size on just to match the phys­i­cal bat­tle of play­ing in the mid­dle in the Cham­pi­onship.

I en­joyed play­ing in the mid­dle to­wards the back end of the sea­son. I liked the phys­i­cal chal­lenge more than any­thing, be­cause Cham­pi­onship play­ers are a lot big­ger than academy play­ers.”

His goals are to help the team im­prove and to get reg­u­lar game time un­der his belt, and with the help of one team mate in par­tic­u­lar he feels he can meet those ex­pec­ta­tions.

“Lee Mitchell took me un­der his wing a lit­tle bit at War­ring­ton re­serves, and he is al­ways good to get a few trips from.

“I just want to play a lot of games in the Cham­pi­onship for Rochdale, and hope­fully get a lot of wins

‘I re­ally en­joy the feel of the club and that’s partly why I signed’

so we can im­prove on last sea­son and push for the top eight.”

Kil­shaw sees a lot of po­ten­tial in the 20-yearold and is look­ing for­ward to work­ing with him on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

“Lewis is an­other player who showed us what he is ca­pa­ble of at the back end of the sea­son,” he said.

“He has great po­ten­tial and coach­ing staff have likened him to Gaz Mid­dle­hurst, with his ag­gres­sion and work rate.

“We are look­ing for­ward to him hav­ing a strong pre-sea­son and de­vel­op­ing fur­ther.

“I be­lieve play­ing week in, week out in the front row or at 13 in the Cham­pi­onship will help him max­imise the po­ten­tial he has.”

Jackie Mered­ith

Lee Mitchell took Lewis Hat­ton un­der his wing at Hor­nets

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