Leeds have confirmed the signing of Whitehaven prop Kyle Amor on a three and a half year deal.
The Hensingham amateur, 22, has burst on to the scene in 2009 with some excellent displays for the Cumbrian outfit, and he will complete his move to the Rhinos immediately, but will stay on loan at Whitehaven for the rest of 2009.
Amor, who was named Championship Player of the Month in May, said: “It is a dream come true. Just twelve months ago I was playing for my amateur side and now I have agreed to join one of the most famous clubs in the world. I know there is still a lot of hard work to do and all I have done so far is just sign my name on a piece of paper but I am committed to making the most of this opportunity.
“I have given up a good job as a printer to follow my dream of playing in Super League but it is a risk worth taking. Ged Stokes told me a month ago that the Rhinos wanted to speak to me and I am glad that it has all been sorted out now.
“The partnership is great for young players to have something to aspire to in Cumbria. There are a lot of quality players from Cumbria now playing in Super League and that can only help promote the game up here. I want to finish the season well with Whitehaven. I am looking forward to testing myself in a full time environment at the Rhinos but I also know that with the proposed dual registration rules, I will still be able to gain first team experience back at Whitehaven next season, if I am not involved in the Leeds first team.
“I can’t wait to get started with the Rhinos. I keep laughing to myself at the thought of training alongside the likes of Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield. Last year, I was training with my mates at my amateur club and now a year on, I’ll be rubbing shoulders with some of the greats of the game. I’ll have to pinch myself to make sure I am in the right world!”
It is the first example of the benefits of the recent announcement of a unique link-up between the two clubs, and Amor is expected to join up with his new team mates for the start of pre-season.
Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said, “Cumbria and Whitehaven have a proud place in Rugby League history and the area has produced some of the greatest players to play the game. By forming a partnership with Whitehaven, we will give young players the opportunity to develop with their home town club as well as having a pathway to play in Super League and reach their full potential.
“Brian McClennan and Ged Stokes are fellow Kiwis and both are passionate about player development and youth rugby. Barrie McDermott’s role as Head of Youth Performance is to attract and nurture young talent which this season has seen former Barrow junior Brad Singleton and Whitehaven youngster Jared Stewart move to Headingley Carnegie.
“The Board of Directors at Whitehaven have been extremely forward thinking in all their dealings with us and they have ambitions to build a sustainable future for their club. We will also provide support off the field as well with our own business expertise which can only strengthen the bond between the two clubs,” added Hetherington.
Head Coach Brian McClennan added, “We are delighted to have secured the services of Kyle Amor for the next three years. Like Michael Coady, he is a player with a great deal of potential and we are looking forward to see how he can develop in our programmes during the pre-season schedule. He is a strong player who has consistently delivered good performances for his team and we will be keeping a keen eye on him for the remainder of this season to see how he develops.”