Jordan Lilley admits that, while he knows he will not be getting a new contract with Leeds Rhinos in 2020, he is still yet to speak to anyone at the club about it, saying that news of his impending release has only come via his agent.
The scrum-half, who was tipped for a bright future at his hometown club when he burst into the first-team several years ago, is out-of-contract with Leeds at the end of this season. He has been on loan at Bradford since midway through last season, and will face the Rhinos in Saturday’s Challenge Cup tie between the sides.
While explaining to TotalRL that he knows he will have to find a new club next season, Lilly says he has been surprised not to get confirmation from the club, or a conversation of any kind.
“It’s a bit weird how it has come about really,” Lilly said. “I haven’t had a call from Gary (Hetherington) to tell me, or from anyone else; it has come to me through my agent. I haven’t had any real contact with Leeds in 18 months, and certainly not what I expected I’d have had.
“You’d have thought they would have made more effort there. I’m not having a dig at anyone in perticular, I’m just saying that nobody has rung me to thank me for my services, and explain that I won’t be getting a new deal. That’s all you want to hear really, as a player.
“They’ve been going through a lot of stuff, I understand that, but a two-minute call isn’t going to hurt anyone. I’ve had confirmation from my agent though and we are looking elsewhere. Bradford have made me an offer, and in addition we are seeing what’s out there.”
Lilley also admits that he’s confident he is rebuilding his career with the Bulls, who are keen to keep him next year, while revealing how tough it has been to deal with his exit from the club he grew up supporting.
“I played 20-odd games and a World Club Challenge in 2016,” he said, and went home to my dad buzzing that I could continue my career. But then you get pushed out, you play fewer games, and by this time last year I hadn’t played even one game.
“But here, John (Kear) is saying he’s going to put his faith in me and that has got me back on track. I didn’t know what was next for me. I had a secure four-year deal at one point and I didn’t have to worry, but to be out-of-contract is quite scary. “I may be only 22, but I’ve got a mortgage, a house and a lot of outgoings and responsibilities in my life.
“I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel now though, and my agent is sorting out my future. That’s what he’s there for.”