Huddersfield Giants have handed Matty English a two-year full-time Super League contract.
Giants Academy Captain and England Academy international, English has committed to the Claret and Gold until the end of the 2019 season and the youngster is delighted to put pen to paper on his first professional contract.
The 19-year-old said: “It’s a dream come true and all the hard work has paid off.
“I’ve been here five years already and with this contract that takes me to seven, so it feels like home for me and I’m looking forward to it.
“Playing alongside Sam (Wood) and Darnell (McIntosh) last year and Kruise (Leeming) and Tyler (Dickinson) the year before, there have been a few lads that are getting their chance so hopefully it will be me soon.
“It’s great being around the players that are already here and I feel like I’m learning all the time from them and it’s a great club to be at.
“I got my first team squad number at the start of the year and now I’ve signed my first professional contract, which I couldn’t imagine happening when the start of the year came round.
“I would love to be able to make my home debut this year, that would be incredible, but I just want to continue working hard with the academy and hopefully prove what I can do.”
Head Coach, Rick Stone, added: “I think everyone loves Matty and what he stands for with his wholehearted effort in training and within games.
“He has got to learn a little bit about playing against men and protecting himself a little bit because he is such a brave character.
“He has got lovely skill and he’s a good learner. He’s a good kid.
“Everyone in the club really likes working with Matty and respects what he stands for, so he is another one of our players that has got a bright future and we need to make sure we manage him correctly over the next couple of years to get the best out of him and start drip feeding him into the first team.”
The Giants Under 19s are in Academy action against Leeds Rhinos at Lockwood Park today.
The full squad is: Jon-Luke Kirby, Jamie Greenwood, Tyllar Mellor, Jack Richardson, Innes Senior, Louis Senior, Josh Pinder, Izaac Farrell, Alex Young, Reece Boxall-Hunt, Ross Whitmore, Connor Hampson, Alfie Copley, Ethan Salm, Connor Murphy, Jack Flynn, Sam Hewitt, Billy Hayes, Lucas Hallas.
Former Giants centre Jamahl Lolesi says St Helens will not be making wholesale changes ahead of their clash with arch rivals Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium today.
The sacking of long-serving head coach Keiron Cunningham – ending a near 24-year association with the club on Monday – has led to his assistant Lolesi, along with Sean Long and Under 19 coach Derek Traynor preparing St Helens for this game and possibly more while the club begin the search for a successor.
Lolesi said: “We can’t make wholesale changes, we’ll try to make a few subtle changes here and there and come up with a game plan that will maybe give us a shot of winning the game.”