Kyle Amor has lifted the lid on ‘ugly’ off-season conversations with Justin Holbrook, which might have ended his time at the club but instead prompted him to prove his coach wrong and reject the chance to move elsewhere.
His future at the club looked uncertain at the end of last season, he said, after Holbrook told him his playing opportunities would be limited this season following the emergence of several young forwards.
However, while admitting to League Express that that was tough to take, Amor said it has proven to be a fresh challenge and has given his career new impetus.
“We had a conversation at the start of the off-season,” he said, “and it wasn’t a pretty one for me. With the emergence of young forwards coming through, and the depth we have got, Holbrook said it was going to be hard for me to get a game every week – if everyone was fit.
“I went away from that and did some the hardest training I’ve ever done in the off-season. Me and Matty Smith were out running all round Billinge and places like that. But it got noticed, and I got the jump on a couple of guys in pre-season. Every game is a bonus for me at the minute.
“Am I happy to be playing fewer minutes than last year? Not really. But I am grateful I’m being picked because I love everything about this club.
“From being told that, to be still playing is huge – but I’m not settling on it,” admitted Amor.
There were still opportunities to leave the Saints, he said, even though he now feels more motivated than ever to succeed at the club. “A couple of clubs asked about me, but right away the decision from me was to change the coach’s mind,” he insisted.
“I enjoyed the challenge if I’m being honest. I don’t want to say I’d got comfortable, but I’ve started most weeks since I’ve been here and you’re never too old for a new challenge. I’m just loving being in this team and hopefully that will continue for a bit longer yet.
“I came into the game late; I’ve still got plenty of years ahead of me; it’s a long year, injuries happen but I’m keeping myself more fit than ever before away from the game, which is something I haven’t done in a long time.
“I could as easily have just sat back, run my deal down – or gone somewhere else.
“But when I first started at Whitehaven people doubted I could get to this level, so for me it has always been about proving a point.
“Probably, in the last few years, I didn’t feel I had that much to prove but I’m relishing the challenge now, I really am, and I think that’s showing in my performances.”