LUKE HOOLEY is hoping to get his career up and running this season with Batley Bulldogs after making the switch to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
The signing of the 21-year-old was confirmed back in September following his release from Wakefield Trinity at the end of last season.
Hooley was a star of the local amateur game as a junior, first at Shaw Cross Sharks and later across town at Dewsbury Moor. He signed for Bradford Bulls on scholarship in 2014 before signing a professional contract with Wakefield three years later.
The goal-kicking full-back failed to make a competitive appearance for the Super League side but has gained experience in the Championship and League One over the past three years, playing in both divisions for Oldham and making 19 appearances for Dewsbury Rams.
After leaving Trinity at the end of last season, Hooley signed a one-year deal with Batley Bulldogs, and his aim for the upcoming season is to play as many games as possible.
“I’m a local lad from Dewsbury myself, I’ve always gone on Boxing Day and (I’ll go to games) every time I’m local,” he said. “I didn’t get an opportunity at Wakefield so I’ve got an opportunity here to show what I can do.
“It’s just game time this year and showing what I can do. Playing week in, week out is my main goal at the moment. If I can do that I’ll be happy.”
Having amassed more than 40 appearances in the professional game on loan over the last three years, Hooley is confident that he can make his mark in the second tier.
He said: “I went on loan to Oldham in the Championship when they got relegated (in 2017), then I went on loan to Dewsbury and back to Oldham last season, so I’ve played quite bit of Championship. It’s a tough league and there are a lot of teams pushing for Super League.”
Hooley has made his name as a full-back but will have to dislodge the incumbent number one at the Bulldogs, Dave Scott. The Scotland international has been first-choice for the past four years and Hooley is hoping to learn from his new teammate.
“I’ve played full-back most of my life,” he said. “I started out at half-back but moved to full-back. Hopefully I can learn a few things from Dave and compete with him, and if not I can play half-back as well.”