Halifax Panthers can confirm that Captain Joe Keyes will depart the club at the end of the 2024 season to take up a contract with Betfred Championship rivals Bradford Bulls

Irish international half back Keyes joined the Panthers ahead of the 2022 season, having an instant impact at The Shay Stadium following his move from Hull Kingston Rovers. But the 28 year old has taken an offer to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the current season.

Head Coach Liam Finn commented: “Obviously, it’s disappointing to lose players. Situations revolving around contract offers and renegotiations are difficult, and obviously midseason and really early in the season, especially this year with us not starting the season with league games, makes it a little bit more awkward. But it’s one of those things, it is what it is.”

“The players have to what’s best for themselves and their families to make sure that they’re looking after that side of things and we have to make sure we do the right thing for our club. Where we want to make offers, and we make what we think are good offers to players, at times we are not going to be able to compete with other clubs that have got bigger budgets and spending a lot more money.”

“It’s just the nature of the beast of professional sport, it is what it is and I think in the coming weeks and months, it’ll be really clear that other clubs are spending a lot of money with the types of players that they’re getting in.”

“We as a club have to be diligent and smart about where we spend our finances, and when we get to a certain limit on a player and somebody else is coming in way above that, we have to just take our medicine and move on and make sure that we are a sustainable club that can keep going forward and work hard to get a good quality team on the field.”

The club and Joe are completely focused on the task at hand of improving our current league position and pushing towards the top six places to secure an all important play off spot.


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