Crowley commits to Rochdale

Rochdale Hornets back-rower Josh Crowley has joined teammate Jono Smith in committing his future to the club by signing a contract extension for the 2017 season.

The former Oldham star joined midway through the season after admitting that he had fallen out of love with the game.

Since making the move to the Hornets though he has enjoyed his time with the club and is already looking forward to next season.

“I’ve really enjoyed it here,” Crowley said.

“I fell out of love with the game when I was at Oldham and when Rochdale originally approached me we talked about signing a year and a half deal but I wasn’t too keen.

“It was on the basis of me not knowing whether I’d find my love for the game again and whether I’d want to carry on playing past this season.

“I came on a short term basis but I have loved every minute of it, so I decided that I was more than happy to sign again.”

A good relationship with head coach Alan Kilshaw also helped the 24-year-old commit for next year.

“I think Killer is a good coach and that’s probably one of the main things, I seem to really get on with him and I like the approach that he has,” Crowley said.

“He puts pressure on you at the right time and I like that. I think he’s a really good coach.”

Crowley had been out of the game since taking a break in February but returned at Pennine Way in June, making his Hornets debut off the bench in a 60-6 win over Hemel Stags.

Since then he has appeared seven times for the club and feels that he has come a long way in that short time, and still has room for improvement.

“I think I have definitely come a long way since then,” Crowley said.

“I have felt like I’ve gradually improved game on game and my best performance came against Keighley in the Super 8’s.

“In the York game I got concussed and I was disappointed because it ended my game early.

“Against Toulouse it was one of those games where I didn’t have the best of games but at the same time I don’t think many people stood out.

“It was one of those games where they are that good of a team there’s not really much you can do.”

In his last appearance for the club they took on league leaders Toulouse Olympique and were beaten 46-4 by the unbeaten French outfit.

After spending the weekend in the South of France with the rest of the squad, Crowley feels like he is getting to know his team mates better.

He is also confident that they can bounce back from back-to-back defeats in their final two games of the Super 8’s at home to Doncaster and Hunslet Hawks.

“I was gutted that I didn’t go to London because I thought that was going to be my chance to bond with the lads a bit more,” he said.

“Going to France was brilliant though. They are a top bunch of lads, you get to a lot of teams and there are cliques within the group, there are none here.

“There probably was a couple of lads that I hadn’t spoken to much but I think the trip really helped with that.

“We’re really confident that we can bounce back. We’ve lost the last two games but we haven’t been at our best for about four or five weeks.

“When you look at it though it’s just about stringing that full performance together, of attack and defence for the full 80 minutes.

“The weekend off will refresh everybody though and I think we have a good chance of going up.”

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