Ollie Partington has set out his goals for the 2023 Super League season, aiming to be back playing his best rugby with new club Salford.
The Wigan-born forward left his hometown team to join the Red Devils on a two-year deal during the off-season.
It’s a complete change of experience for the 24-year-old, having progressed through Wigan’s academy and working his way to the first-team. He made his professional debut for the Warriors in 2018 against Castleford, and went on to captain the club in 2022 against Hull KR in August.
Partington now makes the short move to Salford, who reached the semi-finals last year, falling just short to St Helens who would go on to claim their fourth successive title.
Ollie Partington on Salford switch
“It’s been a good and a tough challenge so far,” Partington told Love Rugby League. “Getting to know the different styles and moves, but I’m enjoying it. It’s a bit of a change and not as nice weather as sunny Wigan!
“I think the brand of rugby they’ve been playing attracted me here.
“Last year they were playing some of the best rugby. Salford were probably one of the most in-form teams at the back-end of the year and just fell short in the semis.
“Hopefully I can add to that and that was my thinking; add to the squad and help out where I can.
“I think they’re a good club with good fans and good staff. I wanted to be a part of an opportunity of winning something in the near-future.
“It also helped with the fact I knew a few of the lads here already, too. Amir Bourouh I’ve played with, Joe Burgess and Dan Sarginson. I played with Matty Costello as a kid too, so it’s good to link back up with him.”
Ollie Partington: I just want to nail down that starting position
With the new season just weeks away, Partington has laid out his personal goals for 2023, hoping to become a regular starter at the club with 81 games of Super League experience to his name.
“I just want to nail down that starting position and grow as a player and as a leader,” he said.
“I want to get back to playing my better rugby, as I don’t think I did that last year.”
With Salford yet to announce their 2023 squad numbers, there’s also an opportunity for Partington to impress during pre-season to claim the number 13 shirt, left vacant by former captain Elijah Taylor.
“I can see myself playing as a ball-playing loose forward and that’s how I want to play,” Partington continued.
“That’s the goal to eventually get to that. I want to keep learning skills and keep getting better every week and every year. And hopefully Paul Rowley will help me do that, to become the ball-playing loose forward that I want to be.
“Personally, I want to get back to playing my style of rugby. I want to be playing to a high standard and helping Salford every way I can.”