NEW BATLEY Bulldogs signing Tyler Dickinson says that he wants to help the club push for a play-off spot next year.
The club confirmed the signature of the 22-year-old last week, beating off competition for the highly-rated player following his release from Huddersfield Giants at the end of the season.
Dickinson is the latest player to bring Super League experience to the Bulldogs for 2019, and the prop forward is focused on driving his new club up the table.
He says he wants to be part of a play-off push and that Batley is “the type of team that I want to be at; a team that’s successful and wants to be somewhere.”
The players began pre-season training this week, and Dickinson says that he was impressed by the quality of the squad that coach Matt Diskin is building.
“I met Jack Downs on Monday but I’ve known him from playing him a few times and he’s Super League quality. Toby Everett I’ve come across when he was at London,” he said.
“The squad looks spot on to be fair, I didn’t realise how good the squad was until I went for my first session on Monday.
“They’ve got some high quality players, from playing against them and watching them I know what they can do.”
The forward says that his personal aim for next season is just “to play as many games as possible”.
“I’m not someone that’s just going to expect to play and not think it’s got to be earned,” he said.
“I want to earn my spot and hopefully keep it, and just show the Batley fans what I can do, and just to progress my game as much as I can, and get a lot fitter and a lot stronger.”
As to what supporters can expect to see from him next year, Dickinson says that he will “bring a lot of physicality” to their forward pack.
“I’m a big lad and I run hard, get plenty of offloads, and just (bring) a high work ethic, always trying my best for the team,” he added.
Dickinson made 18 top-flight appearances for the Giants since debuting in 2016, but only played once following the appointment of Simon Woolford as head coach in April.
He says there are no hard feeling with the club over his exit, and understood he needed to move away to get more regular action.
He explained: “Through meetings that I had with the new coaching staff, they made it clear that they didn’t think I’d be anywhere near playing next year and that I’d be down the bottom of the pecking order for whatever reason, so I thought it would be best for myself to sort that out.
“I’m at that age where I need to be playing every week so I’ve cut ties with them and I’ll seek a new challenge elsewhere.
“It was a mutual decision and there’s no bad blood there, it’s something I’ve just done to better my career.”
Despite dropping down to the Championship, the youngster still feels capable of playing in Super League if given another chance.
“That’s one of the things that led to me leaving Huddersfield, the frustration that they didn’t see me as (able to) when I felt like they hadn’t seen me play, the new coaching staff, and they never gave me a chance.
“Every time I played, and I played 18 games, I felt I held my own every time, and they never really had a bad word to say about me.
“My ultimate goal is to get back up there, but at this point moving forward I’m a Batley player and I want to get Batley into the top four.”
He brings top-flight experience but has plenty of knowledge of the lower divisions as well, having had time at Halifax, Keighley Cougars, Oldham, Newcastle Thunder and Workington Town.
Dickinson says that those loan spells have him prepared for what the Championship will throw at the Bulldogs next season.
“If there’s anything that I’m experienced at then it’s Championship and Championship One,” he said.
“I think I’ve played 70 games at those levels so I know what’s coming, and I’m just looking forward to being able to play week in and week out, and hopefully Diskin gives me that chance.”
He spent the second half of last season in Cumbria with Workington, coming within a whisker of helping the club to promotion out of League One.
He says that that loan spell was “massive” for his career, and praised the coach for giving him a new lease of life.
“Leon Pryce just said to me ‘go and play your game’, and that gave me a lot of confidence and made me find my feet again,” said Dickinson.
“In the full-time environment (at Huddersfield), unfortunately without the reserves you’re not playing week in and week out, so you don’t have a chance to find your confidence and find your mojo.
“Leon just said to do your thing, so that was massive for me and it sort of opened my eyes as well, that maybe taking a step down to the Championship and taking that step back to play week in and week out can do wonders for my career.
“The people in these leagues have shown me a lot of things and taught me a lot of things, so I think it could be very good for my career.”