posted on 25 October 2012

The Wildcats are pleased to announce academy graduate Danny Cowling has signed a one-year contract extension that will see the centre remain at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium for 2013.

Danny Cowling has signed a new one-year contract with the Wildcats.

The 20-year-old had a year of progression last term where he made his Super League debut in the thrilling home victory over St. Helens and spent a large part of the season on dual-registration at Doncaster where he helped The Dons win Championship One.

The former Featherstone Lions man was also an England U16 international before making his way into professional rugby league with Trinity.

Cowling produced a number of big tackles on his debut against Saints in August, including forcing a vital knock-on in the lead up to the Paul Sykes drop goal that won the game with the final kick of the match.

After signing his new 12-month extension he is aiming to build on his single Super League appearance in 2013.

“I want to hopefully breakthrough into the first team and get a few more games under my belt and have a successful season as a team,” he said after penning a new deal.

“The main thing is to get a few more games and improve on this season and stay in the top eight.

“I think 2012 been a successful season personally with me getting my breakthrough and winning the Championship One with Doncaster so it couldn’t have gone any better really. Hopefully I will improve on this year and improve as a player.”

Cowling knows he will have a job on his hands to displace the likes of Dean Collis, Lee Smith and Vince Mellars to get his chance, but his performance against Saints justified Richard Agar’s decision to give the youngster his opportunity in a big game.

The promising centre says he can’t help but learn from the calibre of players in the first team squad and that it will help him be ready to take his opportunities when they come.

“I have learnt massively in all areas of my game to be honest. Training with the players that I have been this year at Wakefield makes me improve so much, just by watching them and playing against them in training I think it has massively improved me as a player.

“The centres at the club are there to help and to give advice by telling me what to do in certain situations and giving me a hand one-to-one in training. It is good that they are like that and they are there to help which means I can learn off them easy.

“It’s always going to be difficult as somebody my age to force my way into the team but with the sport we play there are always going to be injuries and suspensions. I am not wishing that upon anyone but if there is anyone that can’t play then I will be there ready to play whenever I’m called upon. All you need is one good game and that can start of a run so it’s about taking your chance.”

Along with Lucas Walshaw and the now departed Russ Spiers, Cowling was part of a trio of Wildcats who helped Doncaster claim the Championship One title, an experience that he says has been an immense help to his progress and helped prepare him for his Super League debut.

“I think going out to Donny helped me massively and physically more than anything.  Yes, it’s a step up, but playing against men in the Championship is an even bigger step and it has prepared me for what is to come and it did help with the one game I got against St. Helens.

“It is always good to know that if you are performing and if you are doing what Rich (Agar) has asked and going well in training then you’ll get that shot. It’s maybe not been like that in past years but to know there is always an opportunity there and he is not scared to give you a chance is a big benefit and makes you want to train harder.”

Agar himself says that if Cowling continues to improve as he did in 2012 then he will be knocking even harder on the first team door for Super League XVIII.

“We were pleased with Danny’s development last year.  He showed good form and progress during his time on dual registration and made an exceptionally promising start to his first grade career with his performance against Saints.

“If he continues this upward curve he will continue to put pressure on the guys in front of him and take his chance when it comes.  It is pleasing for us that we have some guys coming through our system and beginning to show us that they are ready for a shot at the top level.”

It’s a system that is funded by Club 1873, the Wildcats lottery that provides members the chance to win weekly cash prizes, daily prizes, monthly prizes delivered to your door by first team players and two mega draw jackpots of £2,000 for just £2 a week.

The funds from Club 1873 recently helped the club sign a dozen Academy players onto their first professional contracts to be part of the under 19′s squad in 2013 and continues to go from strength-to-strength.

You can sign up to invest in the future of the club and give yourself the chance to win by visiting the Ridings Centre Store or Rapid Solicitors Stadium Box Office.  Alternatively you can call 01924 211611.

This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.

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