ON-song Halifax winger Paul White has admitted he “feels like a completely different player” ahead of Sunday’s Northern Rail Cup clash with Oldham at the Shay.
White, who had a knee reconstruction during his final year with Salford before switching to Fax last winter, endured a nightmare 2010.
By his own admission, the 28 year old struggled for form and was not selected for the club’s Grand Final victory over Featherstone.
This year has been a different story, with White – the competition’s top try scorer with the Reds in 2008 - arguably the club’s outstanding individual during pre-season.
“Last year was frustrating all round, but it was missing the final that really hit home with me,” said White, who opened his try account for the year at Swinton last Friday and is virtually certain to start on the flank against the Roughyeds.
“It was a bit of a wake up call and Matt (Calland) sat me down after that and told me I needed to concentrate on having a really good winter.
“I didn’t have a break, I just went straight into pre season on my own.
“I just feel like a totally different player now and I think the rest of the lads feel a lot more confident around me as well.
“It’s early days, but all last season Matt was saying ‘You will get back to your best, it will just take time’ and so far this year he’s not said that to me.
“I’m not sure I’m there yet, but things are going well so far.”
White – who predicted Oldham will present a “tough” challenge this weekend - highlighted two factors for his resurgent form: changing his day job and the input of former Salford teammate Karl Fitzpatrick, who recently joined the conditioning staff at Super League outfit Warrington.
“I was driving a van last year, which meant a lot of early starts and I think that put my training back,” said White, who now works for Bradford-based Move Insurance.
“I’m behind a desk now, which makes things a lot easier to get the best out of yourself.
“Karl was a big help to me too. Before Halifax started training, I was going over to Preston twice a week off my own bat and working with him.
“He’d been out for a year with an Achilles injury when we were at Salford and he knew how difficult that can make things.
“He just rang me up after the Grand Final, said he’d heard I’d not had the best year and offered to do some extra work with me.
“That was a massive help, not just the training he did with me but having someone there who had been through a similar experience.”