Wakefield Trinity’s high hopes for award-winning youngster Sam Eseh

Wakefield Trinity are hoping promising teenage prop Sam Eseh can make the step up to Super League level next season.

The East Leeds community club product carried off the Championship Young Player of the Year prize after impressing on loan at Barrow, then Featherstone.

Trinity handed him a first-team contract in January 2021, rewarding his progress through the Scholarship and Academy ranks, where he was under the tutelage of new head coach Mark Applegarth.

Powerful Eseh, who is 6ft 4in tall, beat London Broncos halfback Oli Leyland and York winger AJ Towse to the seasonal second-tier award.

“We expect Sam to make a good contribution next year after proving his worth in the Championship,” said Wakefield chief executive Michael Carter in his end-of-season round-up.

Eseh will compete for a place in a pack that will also include Australian prop Jai Whitbread, who recently penned a contract extension through to 2025.

But loose-forward Brad Walker, who can also play at hooker or in the halves, has joined ambitious Championship newcomers Keighley.

Meanwhile popular former Wakefield second rower Chris Annakin has retired at 31 on medical advice.

He joined hometown club Dewsbury in 2020 after nine years on the first-team scene at Trinity.

Annakin, who had loan spells at Workington, Featherstone and London Broncos as well as Dewsbury while with Wakefield, has struggled to overcome concussion problems.

“Chris has had an ongoing injury issue which has required him to seek specialist advice and go through multiple assessments,” explained Dewsbury in a statement.

“Unfortunately, the medical advice has meant that he has had to retire from the game with immediate effect.

“The club has supported Chris throughout this process and are disappointed to lose a player of his calibre from the squad.

“The club will continue to support Chris in the future along with help from Rugby League Cares.”

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