Luke Gale is set to make his first appearance for new club Keighley this weekend and the former England international insists the Championship side is one rapidly on the rise.
Gale, 34, was released by Hull at the conclusion of the 2022 Super League campaign and eventually went on to sign with Keighley on a one-year deal in December.
Rhys Lovegrove’s side enjoyed a perfect season last year in League 1, winning all 20 of their fixtures to earn promotion to the Championship.
Strong off-season recruitment, including Super League’s Gale and Ben Crooks, has seen Keighley in the mix for promotion to Super League with the bookmakers – although Featherstone, Toulouse and York are still ahead of the pack.
“I spoke with Rhys and I thought he was a great coach just from the initial chats. It’s something building that I want to be a part of,” Gale said.
“I think the Championship is a really open comp this year and I wanted to be a part of that in a team that has great aspirations and a forward thinking team as well that are on the up.
“It was something I wanted to be a part of and that’s why I made the jump.”
“It’s been fantastic so far” – Luke Gale
Gale is expected to make his first appearance for the club in Jake Webster’s testimonial fixture against Castleford this Sunday.
The side defeated Newcastle Thunder 24-12 in their first outing of 2023 last weekend, with the Championship season just weeks away.
“It’s been fantastic so far,” Gale said on pre-season.
“The lads have been really welcoming. Training is really intense and I’m not going to say I’m surprised, I spoke to Rhys before I got here and I know he’s an intense character and he likes training to be of that high level, but it has kind of surprised me a little I must say.
“It’s been sharp and we’re going to play some good footy this year.
“It’s a really good way of playing and I think we’re going to have some fun.”