Hatton’s switch now permanent
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.”
Lee Mitchell took Lewis Hatton under his wing at Hornets