posted on 1 April 2016

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are thrilled to announce the signing of Academy star, James Batchelor.

Batchelor, 17, who has come through the ranks of the Wildcats Academy, has signed a four year deal which will see him in the red, white and blue jersey until 2019.

The second-rower has had an impressive 2016 season taking on the role of the u19s Captain and has scored eight tries in four games including two hat-tricks one against Leeds Rhinos and the second against Warrington Wolves after being in the Academy system for 18 months.

Chairman Michael Carter said, “I am delighted with securing another local lad who has come through our system. It is testament to the Club 1873 Scheme, we now have five players who have broken into the first team squad; Chris Annakin, Tom Johnstone, Jordan Crowther, Max Jowitt and James Batchelor.

“I would like to thank everyone who is a part of the 1873 lottery; it is thanks to these funds that help us produce home grown players.”

Wildcats Head Coach, Chris Chester has watched the progress of Batchelor in recent weeks and has spoken about adding the youngster into his first team squad, “I am delighted with the progress that James has made in such a short space of time having only played nine academy fixtures. He is the future of this club and he is exceptional talent and I am looking forward to working with him in the future.”

Head of Youth and Academy, Richard Kelly has also expressed his delight saying, “Despite his obvious talent as a Rugby League player, I am just as proud of James’ strength of character and Integrity. Having not been part of the Junior Academy he continued to believe in himself and, through our partnership with Wakefield College has reaped the rewards of his hard work and dedication.”

Batchelor who will feature in the u19s fixture this evening against Salford Red Devils at Belle Vue Stadium is thrilled with the deal, he said, “I am very happy to have signed a contract, despite not being at the club for long it is great that I get this fantastic opportunity to progress and improve myself as a player.

“The Academy has played a huge part in my career and it is vital to get young players in early to develop them to their best abilities, I have certainly improved physically with the help of the coaches.”

The Club 1873 Lottery has played a vital role for the Wildcats’ Academy System providing the funds to help retain and nurture the young stars who are eager to earn a first team call up. Without this the club would be without players such as Chris Annakin, Tom Johnstone, Jordan Crowther, Max Jowitt and James Batchelor.

If you are interesting in joining Club 1873 or would like more information please call Jonathan Schofield on 01924 201548.  


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