INCOMING Halifax playmaker Anthony Thackeray is aiming to find the best form of his career over the next two years.
The 25 year old, who can play in either half back position, is one of new coach Karl Harrison’s major close-season recruits after penning a deal to keep him at the Shay until the end of 2013.
And the former Hull and Castleford player, who was dramatically cut from Widnes’ squad midway through last season despite having already signed a contract that would have taken him into Super League with the Cheshire club next year, is eager to rebuild his career with Fax.
“I was disappointed with the way I was treated at Widnes to be honest,” said Thackeray, who was one of a handful of players released by Vikings boss Denis Betts after a Championship defeat by Harrison’s Batley side.
“I won’t go too much into it, but it was done in a very public way; I’m not sure if I was used as a scapegoat for one reason or another.
“It was difficult to get a full honest answer off anyone and I was left scratching my head at times.
“I felt I was going okay as an individual, and they seemed happy with my game.
“But if you aren’t in the plans, you aren’t in the plans; it doesn’t matter how well you play.
“It was tough at the time, we’d just had a baby five weeks earlier, we had no family over there and then you get told you’re not wanted.
“It was a difficult time, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and we’ve come out the other side now.
“I’ve got a two year deal here which gives me some security and stability and I’m looking forward to getting to know the people around the club and being part of what Karl’s trying to achieve.
“I’m probably not even at the peak of my career yet; I’m still learning and I want to try and play my best football over the next two years.”
Thackeray, who was close to joining Fax on loan four years ago before opting to stay with the Tigers, should form a contrasting partnership with Harrison’s former Batley captain, Paul Handforth.
“Tiger’s a good player who knows his stuff and hopefully we can complement each other really well,” said Thackeray, who now has a day job working on hometown club Hull FC’s community programme,
“The last year at Widnes I was doing more organising, rather then being a runner of the football and a support player.
“Tiger should take some of that responsibility and I should be able to focus on what I do best.
“It should be a good pairing and we’ve got some good forwards and outside backs and I’m sure we can strike up some good combinations there as well.”