Luke Hooley catching the eye at Batley

Luke Hooley of Batley Bulldogs tackled by Keenen Tomlinson of Dewsbury Rams

Full-back Luke Hooley has praised Batley as the best club he’s ever been at, with his recent form catching the attention of several clubs.

The 22-year-old has scored 70 points so far for the Bulldogs in the 2021 Championship campaign, with his side currently sitting sixth in the table, recording eight wins which included scoring 48 points against Oldham and Widnes respectively.

He said: “It’s been a very good season. It always helps when you’re winning. Personally, I’ve had one of my better seasons that I’ve had since I’ve been young. I’ll put that down to getting more regular game time and enjoying rugby again.

“Batley is a very good club. It’s a very family oriented club. Everybody is good friends on and off the field and it’s a tight-knit group and that helps when you’re on the field and I think that’s shown by the results and the way we’re going this year.

“Sixth is a very good position to be sat in. I think we know ourselves we’ve lost a couple of games that we’re a bit disappointed with and should be a little higher, but that’s nature of rugby league. To be sat sixth in this table is a massive step for us and think it proves we can shock any team when it comes down to it.”

Hooley, who currently works with Elite Kids Coaching alongside former Super League hooker and England international Wayne Godwin, has caught the eyes of several coaches in the Championship division and above with impressive performance in 2021, and has thanked Batley for helping him enjoy rugby again after admitting he almost quit the game completely.

He said: “I’ve heard through the grapevine that there’s a few (clubs interested). I’m just enjoying this season and whatever happens, happens.

“What Batley has done for me has made me enjoy rugby again. When I left Wakefield, I didn’t know what I was going to do and I didn’t enjoy rugby anymore and was almost going to pack it in.

“I got a shot at Batley, and I knew when I got there and I was going to be second choice under Dave Scott the first season, but luckily that season I played every game and this year I got the one shirt, and I’ve just enjoyed it again. Whatever happens from this season and next season, we’ll have to see.

“I enjoy work and enjoy rugby. It’s pretty good. If full-time came back around and I got the option to go back full-time, I’d give it another go. But, as I said, it’s not the end of the world anymore.

However, Hooley was quick to return to the conversation of Batley, a club it’s clear to see he is very appreciative for giving him the chance to show what he can do.

“The club is mega,” he said.

“What it’s done for me and most people, it’s everything about family and if you’re enjoying it there it’s great, and if you’re not they can help you and understand, whereas other clubs may just brush you off, turn up to train and go home.

“Batley are probably the best club I’ve ever been at.”

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