York bolster squad with loan signing of Wakefield back

·2-min read
Oli Pratt Wakefield Trinity Credit: Alamy
Oli Pratt Wakefield Trinity Credit: Alamy

Championship club York have signed outside-back Oli Pratt from Super League strugglers Wakefield on loan for the rest of the season.

The 18-year-old signed a three-year contract with Wakefield ahead of this season but he has yet to make his first team debut.

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Earlier this month, Pratt was called up to the Yorkshire squad for this year’s Academy Origin series against Lancashire.

Pratt said: “I’m delighted to be here at York on loan until the end of the season.

“I want to be playing against men, not just kids my own age in the reserves at Wakefield.

“Hopefully I can experience a different type of rugby league in the Betfred Championship with York.

“It’s going to be a big challenge but it’s one that I’m really looking forward to and it can only benefit my game.

“I played in a few first-team friendlies for Wakefield and really enjoyed it. The academy and reserves has been good for me, but to progress my game, I need to be playing first-team rugby league.

“Hopefully I can earn my spot in the team here at York, get some game time and impress the coaching staff here.”

Andrew Henderson delighted to welcome Oli Pratt to York

Pratt is the fifth product of local community club Heworth in the current York squad, alongside AJ Towse, Myles Harrison, Ben Barnard and Brad Ward.

Pratt is in contention to make his York debut in this Sunday’s Championship clash with London Broncos.

York coach Andrew Henderson said: “Oli is a product of the York system, having come through the community game at Heworth before being signed by Wakefield.

“I think that he can add some real value for us. He’s a fantastic athlete and a strong carrier out of back-field. 

“He’s still a young player, so there’s areas of game that he needs to work on and as coaches, we’ll hopefully be able to refine those areas.

“For us, it helps create competition for places. Adding more bodies creates fresh energy and hopefully will raise the intensity levels at training. Plus, as coach, it gives me more options to consider.

“It’s an important signing for us at this stage of the season and I’m thankful to Wakefield for allowing us to bring Oli in and our Chairman Clint Godchild for making the deal happen.

“I considered bringing in Oli earlier this season but he wasn’t available at that stage. Now he is.

“Hopefully we can aid him and his development and he can add some real value to us during his time here.”  

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