Although Hunslet are wasting no time in gearing towards the next Betfred League One campaign, head coach Alan Kilshaw is keen to pay tribute to those who have served the south Leeds outfit well before.
The men who will, as things stand, no longer wear the famous myrtle, white and flame include former captain Duane Straugheir, together with Cameron Berry, Kiedan Hartley, Sion Jones, Kieron Moran, Ethan O’Hanlon, Jordan Paga, Joe Summers, Patrick Walker and Richard Wilkinson.
In addition, physio Ellie France and strength and conditioning coach Iuean Fairclough will not be involved next year, or in Hunslet’s pre-season programme.
Straugheir and Walker, who were both at the veteran stage, will be particularly missed by the Parksiders. Straff joined Hunslet four years ago and has led from the front on the field, and provided great stability and leadership off it, throughout. He made 65 appearances – playing through a serious groin injury in 2021 – and scored 21 tries. His last season at the South Leeds Stadium was hampered by a repeat broken arm injury, the second incident against London Skolars in mid-July ending his campaign. He said, at Hunslet’s Presentation Night on the last Friday of September, when he was presented with his heritage certificate: “I’ve had a great four seasons here and I’ve loved my time with Hunslet. I didn’t really know what to expect when I came here but I quickly found that it’s a real family club, and I wish everyone here all the best.”
Walker also received his heritage certificate at the event. The experienced halfback, who joined the Parksiders during the 2022 season, had a major impact at halfback, creating many try-scoring opportunities and landing 16 goals.
Kilshaw, who has announced several new signings – with more to follow – in recent weeks, said: “As always at this time of year we say goodbye to some players who are going on to pastures new, and others who are finishing playing for good. We have a couple of lads we are still in talks with and some more recruitment to share with our loyal fan base during the next few months. Everyone who is leaving goes with our best wishes; we have given opportunities to some which they have taken well, while others have served us over a longer period. It’s a privilege to represent Hunslet and it’s been a privilege to coach those players.”