ON the eve of his testimonial year, Halifax centre James Haley has said he would happily pen a lifetime deal with his hometown club.
The 26 year old threequarter, the first Fax player since full back Steve Smith in 1991 to complete 10 consecutive years in the blue and white, kicks off his benefit season with a launch night at the Shay on Thursday, August 25.
And Haley, who signed for the club as a 16 year old in the Super League era, admitted he has never wanted to play anywhere else.
“It’s something I’m pretty proud of, to be honest,” said the former Ovenden junior, who, like all his teammates, is currently without a playing deal for 2012.
“I always supported the club as a kid, I’ve always enjoyed being here and ideally I’ll be here indefinitely.
“I’d happily play for Halifax until I retire, but I’m only 26 and there’s a lot that could happen so I suppose it’s a big ‘if’.
“Anything I get from the testimonial will just be a bonus for me; the main thing is being a part of the club and doing what I can to help make it successful.
“Hopefully, it can be an enjoyable next 12 months off the field and I’ll get signed for next season too.”
Haley’s return to the troublesome right centre berth - where Fax have endured defensive nightmares for much of the year - for the last two matches has corresponded with an upturn in form for both player and team.
Haley was among his side’s best in the 18-16 loss at Batley and backed up with a solid effort in last Thursday’s 26-24 win over Widnes.
“I’m enjoying it: I’m stringing a few games together now and getting rid of my niggly little injuries,” said Haley, who seems certain to hold his place in Damian Ball’s side for this Thursday’s televised Co-operative Championship date at York.
“I’m close to 100 per cent now and I’ve got to the point where I just want to keep playing, I’m sick of being injured.
“I’m doing a lot of defence on that right hand side and while I probably don’t get as much ball on that side as I’d like, when I do get some I try to make sure I do something with it.
“We seem to be getting a bit of defensive form on that side now, which is good for us, with me, Rob Worrincy, Anthony Bowman, and Ryan Clayton all doing what we can.
“We’re getting towards the end of the season and although we’re a bit depleted with injuries at the moment you don’t know what’s going to happen over the next few weeks.
“We’ll be there or thereabouts in the play offs.”