31st January 2018, 19:31
CROSS LANDS PERMANENT DEAL
Deon Cross has landed a permanent deal with the club following a successful trial period during pre-season.
Rochdale Hornets can confirm that Deon Cross has joined the club following a successful trial period during pre-season.
The former St Helens academy star joined up with Alan Kilshaw’s squad for their warm-up fixture with Warrington Wolves, and has impressed enough to land a permanent deal.
The centre is delighted to have joined Hornets, and revealed how a former player at the club recommended him.
“I’ve enjoyed being on trial and I just made sure I put in some hard work,” Cross admitted.
“I’m made up to have that work pay off and to have signed for the club.
“It was tough when I was released from St Helens, and I’ve spent some time playing amateur back at Blackbrook. Ant Walker is the coach there and it was him who put me forward for the trial.
“I have got on with all the lads, they have welcomed me straight into the team.
“I have really settled in now and I am happy to be here.”
After playing in the amateur game it was a big step-up for Cross when he was named in the starting 13 against partner club Warrington.
He enjoyed the step-up though, and was left disappointed by the cancellation of the friendly with North Wales Crusaders due to a waterlogged pitch.
“It was a good experience.
“It was fast and physical, different to playing amateur and it was tough.
“It was a good experience though to get out there and play against some quality players, I was just gutted that the Crusaders game was called off because of the weather.
“I’m looking forward to the season starting now, I’ve been putting plenty of work in at training and done my own extras to make sure I’m ready for round one.”
His new head coach was full of praise for his latest signing, paying tribute to his resolve after he was released by Saints.
“I think Deon is a great example for younger lads who for whatever reason don’t get kept on at pro clubs,” commented Kilshaw.
“He didn’t moan about the lack of reserves or opportunities, he went back to his amateur club Blackbrook and developed his game further.
“He’s took his opportunity with us exceptionally well and we feel he can develop even further at this club.
“He is athletic with good footwork and importantly for any centre he can defend and read well in defence.”