It is not often that a loan spell is so effective, that a club does all in its power to keep you on – but for Bradford Bulls centre turned half Paul Sykes at Wakefield, that is what happened – with the loan spell working wonders, as Sykes signed a 1-year deal with Wakefield.
Making his debut in the away game against the London Broncos, since the decision was made to move Sykes to half at Wakefield, it has done wonders – evident by the reward of a contract at Wakefield.
Sykes has played in every game for the club since arriving on loan, and says that playing alongside former Parramatta Eels and Cronulla Sharks half Tim Smith, has helped him become a better player at 31.
â€œIâ€™m so pleased itâ€™s all done and dusted, because I didnâ€™t know if I was going back to Bradford or going to get the opportunity to sign for Wakefield, so I am glad itâ€™s over the line now,â€ he said.
â€œI wasnâ€™t playing much at Bradford and wasnâ€™t getting much game time, so to play 21 games on trot at Wakefield was pretty exciting times for myself.
â€œI really enjoyed myself and my time on loan, so I just wanted it to continue. Iâ€™m really excited as to what is to come. We are having a bit of a break now, but I am glad to get it all sorted and Iâ€™m already looking forward to the new season.â€
Whilst it may be unusual for a centre to move to half mid-season, for Sykes, he relished the opportunity, and is enjoying playing alongside Smith.
“Playing in the halves is something I have really enjoyed. Tim is a general of the team and most things run through him, and he does the talking around the park, so itâ€™s good to play off the back of him,” Sykes said.
â€œI am very much looking forward to next year. If we can start off the way we finished this season and maintain that, then we will be able to make the top eight once again. Rich is a very good coach and he likes to play an attacking way, and it was great to be a part of that while I was on loan and I canâ€™t wait for next year.
â€œThe fans have been great and they have came in their numbers, and they have been increasingly growing and they are important for everybody. They really did gather in their numbers for the last few games of the season, and it was special to play in front of them cheering you on.â€
For Wildcats coach Richard Agar, he was pleased to have the deal done with the now-talented utility.
Weâ€™re pleased to get the deal done,â€ said Agar.
â€œHis move to play at stand-off was probably a turning point and a strong factor in our showing in the second half of the year.
â€œThe change of environment has been really good for Paul and heâ€™s enjoyed his football with us. He became an integral part of what weâ€™re trying to achieve.
â€œHeâ€™s at the stage of his career where heâ€™s a seasoned, experienced professional and knows the game really well. He has found his role in our team and complimented the styles of the players around him, as well as giving us an all important kicking game.â€