When Jarrod Sammut made a shock move to Workington Town midway through 2015, it was seen as a monumental day for rugby league in Cumbria.
A much-admired halfback for his incredible skills, Sammut’s arrival was meant to be the beginning of an upward trajectory for Workington, having spent the previous five seasons in the bottom half of the Championship.
However, things have not gone to plan at The Zebra Claims Stadium in 2016, with injuries and poor performances resulting in an unanticipated relegation to Kingstone Press League 1.
Sammut, who masterminded a stunning victory for Town over his former club Bradford earlier this month, has been a shining light for Phil Veivers’ side all season. However, he is now facing the prospect of third-tier rugby for the first time in his career, just 18 months after his last Super League appearance for Wakefield.
He is now considering his next move, with Sammut’s future at Workington in doubt despite being under contract for next season.
“I’ve got another year left with Workington, but things are up in the air at the moment with relegation as players and staff have to take a pay cut,” he told TotalRL.
“The club has said that they will get around to speaking to the players individually in the next few weeks, but other than that it is up in the air at the minute.
“From my understanding, I think we are free to negotiate with other clubs and if things were to come from it, that is good for us, but I don’t have anything in front of me so I’m not 100% sure.
“I don’t really want to play League 1, but if that’s the position I’m in and I have no other choice, so be it. But I still feel like I’ve got a couple of good years left in me and while I’ve got it, I want to make the most of it. Whether it comes to that or not, I guess that’s in the hands of the other clubs and coaches looking for players.”
Since arriving at Workington, Sammut has held an honest relationship with the club, who know that he retains an ambition to return to the Super League or the NRL.
But as it stands there are no deals on the table for the Maltese international ahead of 2017. Unlike many players, Sammut does not have an agent, meaning that he negotiates his own deals. While that has its benefits, it can also cause problems.
“I’ve always been up-front with the club, as I think that is the best way to go about things. They know I want to play top flight and they completely understand, and if that was to come they wouldn’t stand in my way.
“But as it is at the moment, I haven’t really got much out there. I haven’t got an agent so I’m working on my own, but I don’t have the contacts an agent would have. I’m just going down personal avenues I have or friends I have at clubs.
“It’s a slower process and a bit more stressful at times, but I get to cut out the middle man, you just hear it from the horse’s mouth and I can look at negotiating contracts.”
Two clubs recently linked with a move for the former Bradford man are Halifax and Dewsbury, however Sammut knocked back those reports.
“I’ve not had any contact or heard anything from the Halifax camp,” Sammut said.
“I have spoken to Morro (Dewsbury head coach Glenn Morrison) very briefly. We live pretty much in the same neighbourhood and I just spoke to him about my position, but nothing has been set in stone and there is no paper being printed out. It was more a chit chat, there was no talk about me moving there or anything like that.”
After suffering a low point this year on the field, that hasn’t hindered Sammut’s passion for the game, with dreams of a return to the NRL still in his sights.
“Never say never.
“If that was to come around, I would have to be open to it and see what happens. But at the moment my family are here and I need to sort them out first and foremost.”