www.batleybulldogs.co.uk caught up with the club's latest announced signing, Scott Leatherbarrow, on Tuesday evening.
Former Wigan Warriors and Keighley Cougars scrum-half Leatherbarrow, 23, will be seen as a key acquisition for the 2014 season after the departure of half-backs Tom Hemingway and Gareth Moore. A proud Lancastrian, Scott was firstly asked why he had chosen to stay east of the Pennines to join the Bulldogs. "Well, I was offered a new deal at Keighley but as soon as John Kear got in touch I was soon convinced to join up with Batley. It's a great opportunity to come and play for an established top 4 Championship club and a chance for me to win some trophies. I also took the opportunity to chat to Paddy Hesketh who was at Keighley with me last year and he had nothing but praise for the club, so I just heard good things about the Bulldogs really."
Despite Leatherbarrow's enthusiasm to join up with his new club, he was also quick to praise his former club and look back fondly at his time with the Cougars: "When I moved across to Keighley on my own from Lancashire, everyone was really welcoming at the club and I was also given a job there, so I spent a lot of time in and around the place. Yeah, I'm sad to leave and I made some really good mates there but as a young lad in the game I just want to get better and better and coming to Batley will help me achieve that."
"I want to bring some new things to the team next year - I feel like I have a good kicking and running game, which has been drilled into me since my time at Wigan. I spent a lot of time in a more organisational role at Keighley but I'm looking forward to doing more with my running game next season and I'm looking forward to hopefully working with Ben (Black). I've heard a lot of good things about him from guys he used to play alongside at Halifax and I hope to learn from him and some of his experience to my game."
As with a lot of players joining the club recently, the head coach appears to be a big draw for Scott. "I hope I can pick up some new things from JK. He's worked with some great half-backs during his career so I hope to benefit from his vast experience. He has some CV and some amazing achievements over the years."
Leatherbarrow was obviously an interested onlooker during our Grand Final clash with Sheffield: "For 65 minutes, Batley were the best side and defended really well. That 40/20 was undoubtedly the game changer, they scored off it, got their tails up and from then on it was tough for Batley to hang on although it would have been good to see them do so. Sheffield are a great side - they put so much pressure on you - but hopefully we'll move on to the next level next season."
Scott finished with a message for the Bulldogs faithful: "Yeah, I just wanted to thank everyone for their messages on twitter and facebook! I hope we can go one better next year and I want to be part of a successful side. It's not about me personally, it's about the team doing well and I'm sure everyone will get right behind us again next year!"
Scott Leatherbarrow was in discussion with Mark Ward.
Follow Scott on twitter @scottleather7