New Wildcats hooker Paul Aiton says he has already picked up on the passion of the Wakefield fans ahead of the first derby of 2012 this Sunday.
The Papua New Guinea international arrived in the UK just days after Christmas and spent one of his first week’s with the squad on the training camp in the south of France.
Prior to that Aiton had the chance to meet supporters at the warm-up match against Sheffield Eagles and says he has been made to feel welcome ahead of this Sunday’s clash with local rivals Castleford Tigers.
“It’s been really good and everyone has been really friendly,” said Aiton.
“It’s a good bunch of blokes and there’s some good fans and some good sponsors from those I’ve met already, and they’re really inviting and very supportive.
“I’m really looking forward to be involved at the weekend. You hear it from everyone. You’re just having a chat and they’ll say, ‘You’ve got to beat Castleford’.
“I chatted to a couple of fans at the Sheffield game and they were already talking about it then.
“It should be really good and I’m looking forward to being part of a local derby because I’ve never been part of one before and the fans are really passionate about it.”
Aiton got his first run-out in Wildcats colours against Catalans Dragons last weekend and whilst he concedes the result was disappointing, he feels the squad can rectify their problems in time for when results really begin to matter.
“It was really good and I think the camp was good for me to get a bit closer to the boys because I’d only been here a couple of weeks prior to that.
“The camp was really beneficial for us even though the result wasn’t very good. It was good to experience France and it also gave us a few things to work on game wise.
“They played well but we didn’t make it too hard for them. We’ve got a little bit to work on and it’s achievable stuff that we have to do to fix it up. They played well but we’ve just got to play better.
“It’s my first hit out for quite a while so it was getting the match fitness, getting the lungs going and getting used to the boys.
“For me I just need to work on keeping the fitness up and making sure I can do long minutes on the field.”
Aiton and a host of new signings are set to make their first appearance for the Wildcats on home soil this Sunday against the Tigers (kick-off: 3.30pm) with tickets on sale now and discounted for Gold Members.
Gold Members can save on the matchday price by buying before Saturday with tickets priced at £12 for adults and £5 for juniors/concessions and available to buy in either of the club’s retail outlets at the Ridings Shopping Centre or on Doncaster Road.
Prices for supporters who aren’t Gold Members, and for all supporters paying on the day, are £14 for adults and £5 for juniors/concessions.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.