Halifax Panthers are delighted to announce the signing of Tom Inman from York RLFC Knights on a two year contract until the end of the 2024 Betfred Championship season.
The 19 year old hooker is coming home having come through the ranks of local community club King Cross Park. His talents were spotted by Warrington Wolves before York RLFC Knights signed him initially on a 2 week loan before that deal was made permanent towards the end of the 2022 season.
Inman made a big impact at The LNER Community Stadium, including a starring role in the play off defeat of the Panthers at The Shay in September.
With Captain Brandon Moore and the experienced Kyle Wood already sharing the hooking role, Inman will be looking to further learn his craft while pushing for a first team spot in Simon Grix’s side.
And the youngster was relishing the prospect of turning out from his hometown club.
“I’m really happy to be joining Halifax”, said Inman. “I think in the end, it’s been a great decision for me. With me being local, it’s easily accessible for training and I really am looking forward to playing on The Shay pitch that I’ve been down watching since I was a young kid. That’s really exciting for me.”
“As I’m a hooker, I would probably describe myself as a deceptive nine. I like to get out from dummy half and I’m quite an aggressive player but a decent bloke off the field as well. I’ve got a little bit of a kicking game too. As a homegrown lad, I want to come down and make a statement. I want the Panthers fans to know they’re getting everything and more out of me really. I’m looking forward to working with Brandon (Moore) and Kyle (Wood), I’m going to try and get everything out of them that I can. Anything I can take from them, I’ll be sure to do. They seem like really nice blokes so I’m excited to work with them.”
“I know a lot of the Fax fans in that South Stand personally so I’m really looking forward to playing in front of them. Every time I’ve played at The Shay they’ve always been sending me messages and things like that but I’m glad to be on their side this time.”
And Tom wasn’t the only Halifax native to be delighted to have the teenage hooker at The Shay for the foreseeable future.
“We’re really happy to get Tom over the line”, said Panthers head coach Simon Grix. “I’ve got a little bit of a history with Tom as I taught him briefly at school. He knows plenty of our lads through family connections being a local lad. We signed him for a number of reasons, he’s a really good player. At academy level, he was very dominant. And then he played reserves which I don’t think he got the best out of that set up. When you look at what’s in front of him at Warrington, the pathway to first team game time just shut for him. It doesn’t mean that it’s the end though, I think he’s definitely got a lot of qualities to where, by the time he’s got 50 games under his belt at Championship level over the next two or three years, I think there’s a fair chance he can go back to a full time environment.”
“He’s a very well rounded kid, got a good kicking game as we saw when we played York in the play offs down here. An aggressive player, got plenty about him there but with really good service and skill level out of dummy half. He’s played a bit of half back in his time as well which will come in handy. And he’s another local one which is part of what I would like to see at the club in a grander fashion as I’m sure we all would.”
“There’s also a bit of succession planning involved. Kyle Wood’s got one year with us and is in the twilight of his career, so this signing is a good one for the future as well. So we’re happy to get him on board and hopefully we can help him develop physically, develop his rugby IQ and game management and see where he goes. I think we’ve definitely got a good player on our hands.”