Halifax have signed the young Warrington hooker Ryan Maneely on a one year deal and agreed a contract extension with promising full back Joe Martin.
Maneely, a former England Youth international who played in the Wolves’ Academy side that contested this season’s Grand Final, is the first signing made by Fax’s new coach, former Warrington assistant Richard Marshall.
Martin, a former Siddal junior, has penned a single-season deal after making his first team debut in the final game of last season, the play off loss to Dewsbury in September.
Oldham-based Maneely, who emerged from the Saddleworth Rangers junior ranks, will compete with current hooking trio Ben Kaye, Paul Mennell and Keith Holden for a place in Marshall’s new-look line up.
“I have worked with Ryan and I know his qualities as a player as well as his attitude towards the game,” said Marshall.
“He’s someone who was part of an elite group of juniors at Warrington that we identified as being potential first team players, although in the end he wasn’t offered a full time deal for next year.
“There were other clubs chasing him and once I knew he was available, I didn’t want to see him sign somewhere else.
“He’s backed himself by coming to a club where there is already plenty of competition for the hooking role and I think he will complement the players we already have here.
“He offers some speed around the ruck and he’s worked very hard on his tackling technique; he gets underneath people and he puts them down.”
The deal for Martin is no surprise after an encouraging first start in difficult circumstances against the Rams, a game Marshall watched from a corporate box before his appointment was confirmed.
“I have only seen Joe play in that game, but as a debut I thought it was very encouraging,” said Marshall.
“He did everything a full back needs to do, although there are areas where I think we can help him develop.”
Marshall will make his first official appearance as Fax boss when he holds a question and answer session at a ‘Meet the Coach’ function in the East Stand at the Shay, starting at 7.30pm.
Admission is free and the bar will be open.