Wakefield Trinity youngster Oli Pratt has penned a new three-year deal at Belle Vue following a successful loan spell this year with York, who have been chasing his signature on a permanent basis.
A product of Trinity’s youth system, centre Pratt – who has also represented the Yorkshire Academy over the last two years – featured 11 times for York this term, scoring six tries on their run to the Championship play-offs.
The 19-year-old too made his Wakefield debut in the Challenge Cup at home to eventual winners of the competition, Leigh Leopards. His Super League bow then came in the final game of the campaign, with relegation already confirmed, in a home defeat to Hull KR.
Offering versatility in being able to feature both on the wing and at full-back, the teenager was a wanted man, but with new head coach Daryl Powell, assistant Michael Shenton and a new owner at Belle Vue in local businessman Matt Ellis, has opted to stick rather than twist.
Wakefield Trinity tie down sought-after teenager Oli Pratt on long-term deal
Powell – appointed last week – revealed he’d admired Pratt for some time, saying: “I watched a Wakefield academy game last season, and not knowing Oliver, picked him as the best player on the field straight away.
“He’s got all the athletic capabilities to be an outstanding centre in Super League in the future, and I’m delighted he has extended his contract to stay with us. I can’t wait to work with him over the next three years see exactly how far he can go.”
Meanwhile, the player himself pointed towards assistant Shenton, who he’s relishing the opportunity to learn from.
Heworth junior Pratt added: “I’m really excited. I think the club’s on the up, and it’s going in the right direction, so the three-year deal was a really good one for me personally for development.
“I think three years will really help me to fulfil my potential here, and I’m really excited to work under the new coaching staff as well, Daryl Powell and Michael Shenton. Michael was a really, really good centre a few years ago, and I think I can do really well under him.
“After speaking to Daryl and Matt, the ambition to get the club back into Super League and to have a good season this year, I do think it’s looking really good. If we have a good start and just keep up with what we’ve said that we’re going to do, having spoken to those two, I think it’s going to be a really good year.”