David Clegg Continues His Series Reviewing the Season Through The Eyes Of Up And Coming First Teamers, With Regularly Selected, Adam Walne
After three seasons of waiting on the sidelines, 2016 will be the season, upon which, prop, Adam Walne, will now be able to look back upon as the first in which he became a regular within the first team, and, as such, it can be claimed it has been the most successful of his career. This is something he puts down to much greater consistency in his performances.
“Over the previous couple of seasons, when I’ve been selected I’ve not played with as much consistency as I might have done,” he confesses, “so didn’t warrant as many games as I would have liked. This year has been much better, and it has probably been my best season, over the last couple of years.”
This is undoubtedly borne out by the fact that there have been very few matches for which, when fit, he has failed to be selected, either on the bench or in the starting line-up.
“That was one of my goals for the year,” he confides, “to get regular game time, and, yes, I’m quite pleased with how well it has gone.”
Attention to detail in certain areas of the game has certainly helped with this.
“I have achieved it by cleaning up a few areas of my game, focusing on little things which helped it along, and also showing greater maturity,” he professes. “I have then taken all of this out onto the field, week in, week out.”
It had all started during two of the pre-season friendlies in which he was involved.
“I was still a bit scratchy in a few issues, even back then,” he admits, “probably because I wasn’t up to game speed, after just having come out of pre-season.”
Possibly because of this, he was omitted for the season’s opener, at Hull, but then was given the opportunity to stake his claim, the following week, for the first home fixture, versus St Helens.
“It was on SKY,” he recalls, “and I had one of my best games of the year. It felt then as if I’d hit the ground running, and I went on a bit of a role on the back of it.”
It undoubtedly boosted his confidence.
“It was a good game for the whole team, and everyone played really well,” he recalls. “I was able to perform well myself, within that. I then just had to set about repeating that, week in, week out.”
This, he most definitely did, until a minor injury broke the flow, causing him to miss a couple of games. Once he was fit again, though, he returned to action, and it probably became an expectation among us all, each week, that he would be on the team that week.
“As a player you never take it for granted that you’ll be selected,” he modestly reflects, “ though, to be fair, I did get into a sort of rhythm with it.”
And this, he acknowledges has been his greatest achievement of the season, having been the priority he had set out to achieve. Of his on-the-field exploits, he, along with the rest of us, remembers the break he made, during the home game against Wakefield Wildcats. After receiving the ball from Rob Lui, at dummy half, he brushed off a couple of attempted tacklers to make a clean break, before returning the ball once more to Lui who scored close to the posts.
For him, it was a moment to savour, for, as a prop, his role is usually confined to hard graft, big hits, and taking the bumps and bangs.
“It was one of those big moments of the season, which you look back on with pleasure,” he recollects, whilst looking ahead to 2017, he insists:
“I’ve still got a good deal of potential in me, and want to kick on further, next season. I shall be looking for a good pre-season to build on this one.”
Next Time David Clegg Meets With Darts Aficianado, Matty Gee