HALIFAX boss Matt Calland has said he “definitely” wants to sign BARLA test captain Ryan Fieldhouse on a professional contract.
The 22 year old, who joined Fax on trial last month, backed up his impressive performance in the pre-season game against Hull KR with another display of gilt-edged promise in yesterday’s 50-10 Northern Rail Cup trouncing of Championship One side Oldham.
Watched by his father, the former Fax and Great Britain forward John, Fieldhouse slotted in at full back following a first half injury to centre Mike Ratu and apparently did enough to convince Calland of his credentials.
“We will be sitting down to talk about a contract for Ryan, definitely,” said Calland, who confirmed that recent signing Ratu, who was making his first start of the year, had almost certainly broken his arm.
“You can see that in broken field he is dynamite: He’s got great speed, a step off both feet and has a good fend as well.
“It’s a very, very disappointing injury for Mike though, it looks like he’s got a break.
“That’s terrible news, to be honest, because he has been working really hard since he came here.”
Calland, who made a handful of changes to the side that won at Swinton on the opening day, initially feared his other centre Lee Paterson had broken his ankle midway through the second half, although he said he was “hoping” the final diagnosis would be ligament damage.
Injuries aside though, the Fax coach was pleased with the way his side turned a relatively slender 14-6 half time lead into a rout.
“We’d made 10 errors in the first half and then we went out in the second and completed at 80-odd percent, that tells the story really,” said Calland, who opted not to field re-signed stand off Graham Holroyd, leaving Ben Black and Danny Jones to post a much improved performance at the scrum base.
“In those conditions, you need to keep possession and get forward and that’s basically what I told them at half time.
“We needed to push more with the ball and play with better shape and we went out and did that.
“It wasn’t easy, and I thought Oldham had a real crack at us.
“Ben’s been doing extra work, coming in and practising his kicking, and Danny played a lot better as well.
“We’re getting there.”
Match report - pages 32-33