TWO factors among several have helped persuade Matty Chrimes to switch from Doncaster to Hunslet on a one-year deal.
One was the persuasive powers of the Parksiders’ highly-rated Head Coach Gary Thornton, and the chance to work under Thornton’s guidance. And another, which the England Student international relates with his tongue only slightly in his cheek, is to get on the right side of Hunslet’s famously vocal supporters.
He said: “GT was so very positive when he spoke to me, and really sold the club. And everything he told me has proved to be spot on.
“There’s tremendous enthusiasm here, among the players, the backroom staff and the supporters, and it’s infectious.
“The fans are especially vocal and maybe one of the reasons behind me agreeing to sign at Hunslet was that I’d much rather have them shout for me than against me! They can make it slightly intimidating for opposing teams at the South Leeds Stadium – in a good way, you need atmosphere at games and they certainly provide it – but I’m glad I won’t now be on the receiving end and more!”
Chrimes continued: “Another helpful factor is that with me studying at Leeds Beckett I’m living in Beeston, just down the road from the South Leeds Stadium. So everything’s fallen nicely into place really.”
Matty Chrimes could hardly have imagined, as a child, that he’d have fetched up at Hunslet. He came through the junior system at his local club, the crack Kingstone Press National Conference League outfit Rochdale Mayfield, before impressing Bradford Bulls, whose Scholarship side he joined in his mid-teens.
He reflected: “I had a couple of good years at Odsal. It didn’t quite work out, though, and I was a bit down when I left.“But I got my enthusiasm back, both with Rochdale Mayfield in the NCL and at Leeds Beckett University where I came under the wing of their coach Paul Fletcher.
“I learned so much from Fletch and I also learned a lot from Mayfield’s coach Matt Calland.
“Both helped me a lot with my three-quarter play, in fact with my play in general. I’ve been lucky to have some good coaches; another is Richard Tate, who does a great job with the England Universities side, and I’m hoping to retain my place in his team by impressing for the North against the South in the Student Origin game in early February. And now I’m looking forward to playing under Gary Thornton, who is a top coach and deservedly has a big reputation.”
Thornton sees Chrimes primarily as a winger and the 22-year-old said: “I don’t mind where I play, really. I was a second row when I joined Bradford but in recent years I’ve played at either centre or, for most of the time last season at Doncaster, on the wing. I don’t really care where I’m picked, although I prefer to have a single digit on my back! I even played part of a game last year at fullback. Things are looking good and I reckon we’re in for a successful year.”
Thornton said: “Matty had a great first season at this level with Doncaster, and they were keen to retain his services.
“But I met with him, put our vision across, and he was convinced that Hunslet was the place for him.
“After losing Gareth Potts unexpectedly to early retirement it was important to identify a replacement, and quickly, and Matty certainly fits the bill.
“He’s big and strong, and knows his way to the try-line. He has fitted into the group seamlessly, and is a great signing for us.”
Hunslet have introduced a number of attractive packages to suit all requirements and budgets, ranging from the recently-launched `Spirit of 73’ Geoff Gunney Membership (in homage to the all-time great who helped launch New Hunslet following the sale of Parkside in 1973), which costs from £5 per month, to the £50 per month Frank Watson VIP membership, which secures a season ticket, match-day hospitality and a seat at the directors’ table at an away match.
The Graham King Gold Membership, at £26 per month, secures a season ticket and other benefits, while the Mick Coyle Silver Membership (£21 per month) offers a £50 discount off a season ticket, plus benefits.
Hunslet have also pegged season tickets at 2019 prices at £120 (£70 concessions, under 16s free).
All packages can be purchased online by CLICKING HERE, by ringing 0113 271 2730, or by calling at the club’s offices at the South Leeds Stadium.