Hull snare Westerman for six-figure fee

Hull have paid an undisclosed six-figure sum to sign loose forward Joe Westerman from Castleford.

Westerman, 20, broke in to the first team at the age of 17 and has won the young player of the year award at both National League and Super League levels.

He racked up 82 goals and eight tries in Super League last season, and his signing is one of the biggest transfer fees in Hull’s history.

Speaking to www.hullfc.com, Westerman commented, “This is just massive for me. I thought it was time to move on and to have a team like Hull come in for me and for a club of this size to give me the opportunity to play for them is unbelievable.

“The opportunity to work under Rich and play with players like Mark O’Meley and Craig Fitzgibbon is great for any player and I think this is a great move for me.”

He added: “One of the reasons I’ve signed is to really develop and improve my game and go on to win some trophies and play for England.

“That is with no disrespect to Castleford, but I just felt the time was right to move and I feel Hull are a club where I can realise those ambitions and that is what I want to be involved with.”

Hull coach Richard Agar was delighted to secure the services of the highly rated youngster, who has been likened to former Great Britain captains Paul Sculthorpe and Andrew Farrell.

Agar added: “This is a signing not just for now, but for the long term future of the club and the teams development.

“To secure a player of Joe’s undoubted talent in the current market, while still on contract, represents a significant coup for the club and taking into account the likes of Houghton, Turner, Briscoe, Sharp and Lyne, it gives us a healthy contingent of top, young, British players to take the club forward.

“I am looking forward to seeing him in a Black and White shirt.”

Having captained the England schoolboys, representing the national Academy side and taking his place in a number of England squads, the Castleford Academy product is yet to make his full debut for his country.

After a superb season in 2008 he was odds on to claim a place in the England World Cup squad, only to have to pull out through injury.

Westerman, who made his Castleford debut in their promotion-winning 2007 season, was quick to praise his former club.

He said: “I want to thank Castleford and all the players, coaches, staff and supporters for everything they’ve done for me, particularly Terry Matterson who gave me a chance from being young.

“It’s been a brilliant club and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and to play for your home town club in front of such passionate and loyal supporters was great and I can’t thank everyone enough.”

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