Blanch signs new Wakefield deal

Wakefield Wildcats winger Damien Blanch has signed a new two-year contract to keep him at the West Yorkshire outfit until the end of 2011.

Blanch missed a large part of the 2009 campaign after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee midway through the season.

The Irish international first came to Wakefield in 2008 after previous spells with Widnes Vikings, Castleford Tigers and Penrith Panthers and has crossed the whitewash 19 times in 25 Super League outings.

The 26-year old returned to light training at the end of engage Super League XIV and is confident of being fit and raring to go in 2010.

“It is a big injury but it’s feeling pretty good now and I’m doing lots of running now so I should be ready to play in mid-November, and with no games until December I’ve probably got another six weeks to make sure everything is right,” explained Blanch.

“Competition for places keeps people on their toes and it can only be good for the team.  Touch wood injuries don’t happen but if they do then we can all replace each other.”

“I remember what it was like being a young guy and learning from established players and that’s what I hope to be able to do for the young boys in the squad next year.”

Wildcats Head Coach and Director of Football John Kear is looking forward to seeing Blanch back in action.

“It was really disappointing to lose Damien to injury because he had started the season in very good form after an excellent World Cup,” said Kear.

“He has been very committed and disciplined to his rehabilitation programme and I think we will see an even stronger Damien Blanch next season.”

“We’ve got strength in depth in the wing positions next year with Damien, Luke George, Aaron Murphy and Dale Morton so the competition for starting places is going to be fierce and that is exactly what you want in a squad,” Kear added.

Blanch joins Matt Blaymire, Sam Obst, Kevin Henderson and Luke George in agreeing new deals with the club.

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