Academy winger Tom Johnstone has signed his first full-time deal with the club for the 2015 season.
The 18-year old former Stanningley Rangers junior has had a whirlwind 18 months since first being scouted for the Wildcats Academy, featuring in the 2013 Boxing Day friendly against Leeds Rhinos and training with the first team in recent months.
His nine tries in the Academy coupled with the impression he has made on the coaching staff whilst training with the senior squad has led to him being rewarded with a full-time deal.
Johnstone was understandably thrilled to pen his first full-time professional contract and you can hear an interview with him on our Audioboo channel.
“Ever since I was a little kid and started playing rugby it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” he said. “Finally I’ve got there and I couldn’t be happier.
“I’m going to try and get my head down, get some serious training in and fight towards that Super League debut and hopefully get a couple in next season.”
“From when Tom first turned up at the club his improvement physically has been outstanding,” Wildcats head coach, James Webster told the club’s Audioboo channel.
“He’s an athlete, is really quick and his performances in the under 19’s this year have warranted him getting a contract with us as a first team.
“It’s important for us as a club that we produce some home grown players and Tom is probably the first one at that top end of the under 19’s at the moment that warrants a contract. I’m happy for Tom as he’d a good kid and hopefully he’ll progress really well.”
Seven of the 2014 first team squad have come through the Wildcats Academy with Jordan Crowther the most recent to make a debut when he came off the bench at the DW Stadium in March against Wigan Warriors.
Club 1873 continues to fund youth development at the club with the aim of providing the first team with home grown talent capable of making the step into the first team squad.
You can sign up for Club 1873 for just £1 a week with the opportunity to win £250 a week as well as runner-up and daily prizes. You can join in-store at the Ridings Centre or Rapid Solicitors Stadium, by calling 01924 211611/201548 or quickly and securely online by clicking HERE.