Wakefield Wildcats are delighted to announce that influential hooker Paul Aiton is the first player to commit to the club beyond the current licensing period and the first squad member to be contracted at the club when Trinity move into the Newmarket development.
The Papua New Guinea captain has signed a two year contract extension that will see him remain at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium until the end of the 2015 season, announced at half-time in today’s win over St. Helens.
The 27-year-old arrived from Cronulla Sharks at the beginning of the current season when he penned a two year deal before firmly establishing himself as a fans favourite for putting his body on the line and never say die attitude.
Aiton has made 20 appearances in the red, white and blue so far and has impressed not just everybody associated with the Wildcats but his tough tackling and strong runs have earned plaudits from the media and opposition teams alike.
Unfortunately Aiton’s season has been curtailed after being attacked whilst taking a short holiday in July but head coach Richard Agar is hopeful the Trinity number 14 will return to play some part before the end of the year.
The news of the player of the season contender comes just weeks after Tim Smith signed a new 12 month contract after proving to be a revelation since his move from Cronulla and currently sits in fifth place in the try assists in the entire Super League which stands at 24 leading into today’s game with Saints to add to his six scores of his own.
Aiton was delighted to extend his deal that was originally set to expire at the end of 2013.
“I’m very pleased to be staying at the club for another three years,” said Aiton.
“I’ve been pretty impressed all round. From the players and how we all get on, the coaching staff and the admin with how the club is going.
“It wasn’t a deal just to sign so I had something, a lot of thought did go into it. I wanted to make sure that I was in a team that can compete and I really think that we can.”
The significance of Aiton’s contract going beyond the end of the current license is not to be underestimated, with the man himself believing it’s a sign of growing confidence in the club.
“It’s a big thing for both parties. It’s big for the club because it goes beyond the current license, and players can see where the club is going and have a lot of confidence in it.
“For me it’s a big thing too because you’re putting your trust into a club and I do have a lot of trust in the club and where we’re going. It helps that everyone from the coaching staff to the admin side are very honest, tell you how it is and that really helped my decision.”
It’s a race against time for Aiton to play again before the end of the year, but he says he is keen to use the time to get over other niggles and be raring to go for pre-season..
“I’ve really enjoyed my year. I came here to enjoy my footy and I certainly have. I’m devastated about missing the back end of the season because I still feel I can offer a little bit more to the club and the boys.
“Right now I know we’ve still got the semi’s to think about, but for me I just want to get all my niggles sorted out because I want a really big year, next year.
“It’s a massive achievement if we’re in the semi’s. We’re a new team, a new franchise and for any franchise to start and have a decent year then it would be a massive achievement.”
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.