O’Hagan signs for 2022!

Published: 29 October, 2021 - 1:00 pm

York City Knights are pleased to confirm that Australian half-back Brendan O’Hagan, sponsored by Rite Price Tyres, has signed a new one-year deal with the club for 2022, in association with Atropa Pharmacy.

22-year-old O’Hagan joined the club ahead of the 2021 campaign but, after a strong start in the early season Betfred Challenge Cup, the half-back missed much of the season through a series of hip issues.

This off-season, however, has seen O’Hagan head to London to see a highly regarded consultant orthopaedic hip surgeon, in the UK and, with the operation paid for the club now complete, the former Canberra man is now recovering before beginning his rehabilitation programme ahead of the 2022 campaign.

Knights fans got a glimpse of what O’Hagan can do this season and, in our home Betfred Championship match against Widnes Vikings in August, he scored his first tries for the club with a hat-trick.

On the retention, Head Coach James Ford praised O’Hagan and looked forward to a big 2022 for the former Newcastle Knights, Canberra Raiders and Wests Tigers man.

“I’m really pleased to re-sign Brendan,” he said. “He has a great understanding of the game and demonstrated his ability at times last season.

“Despite missing almost all preseason with a freak injury Brendan started the season in awesome form. It was difficult for him to deal with numerous setbacks, especially at such a young age.

“Those experiences will make him stronger and I’m excited by the competition we have in the half-back positions this year.”

O’Hagan himself admitted he was delighted to be staying at the club and noted that he is keen to repay the fans’ faith in him.

“I’m really excited to be staying at the club and I’m happy that the club has shown this faith in me by offering me a deal, so I’m really looking forward to a big 2022.

“The fans are massive for the club and they have been for me, as well. You see on social media and at the games how passionate they are and it’s obviously been a tough year for me so I can’t wait to get back out there and repay the faith they have shown in me.

Arriving in the UK in late 2020, O’Hagan now has just under a year under his belt in York and said that he is loving life in the city before revealing that there are plans for his girlfriend, who couldn’t join him in the UK this year, to come over.

“I love York as a city and, as a whole, the community here is amazing. I’m loving my time here in York and it’s really feeling like a home for me now.

“We’re in the process of getting her over so that’ll be nice. I’m sure that, when she is over, she’ll enjoy the city as well.”

While absent for much of 2021, it has been plain to see how much Head Coach Ford rates O’Hagan through his public comments, something O’Hagan admits is massive for him.

“It gives me so much confidence and, when you’re on the same page as your coach, it instills that confidence in your game. I think that the preparation last year was great and now it’s a case of fine-tuning things for a really big season.”

2022 will see O’Hagan joined at the club with two other senior halves, both of whom will be familiar to Knights fans, in the shape of Jamie Ellis and Liam Harris. That trio will give Ford some great options for the pivots and the competition for places is something that O’Hagan believes can push the squad forward.

“Jamie was at the club last season and played a couple of games. He’s been at a few clubs and played some really good rugby so I can’t wait to rip in at training alongside him and Liam.

“Across the whole squad, we’ve got competition for places. With the young boys coming through, everybody is going to be fighting for places next season so it’s going to be great to get to training and see how competitive it all is.”

Acknowledging the disappointment of not being able to hit his best form throughout 2021, O’Hagan noted the importance of taking time to recover from his surgery and to complete his rehabilitation program.

“Obviously I need to get my body right, it was a tough year with injury this season but hopefully I can get a good, strong pre-season in and that I can come out firing in 2022.

“I think obviously having no halves has been tough and it’s put a lot of stress on the treatment side of things in terms of getting back out onto the pitch perhaps quicker than would have been ideal.

“This time around, it’s a case of taking my time to get my body right for when I’m back playing.”

Finally, O’Hagan gave a parting message to the Knights fans – all of whom he is looking forward to playing for, once again, in 2022.

“Thank you so much for your support in 2021 and I’m sure everyone in the squad will be trying as hard as we can to repay the faith you have shown in us in 2022!”

O’Hagan becomes the latest player signed on for 2022, following suit with the likes of Danny Kirmond, Chris Clarkson and Pauli Pauli.

Season Memberships are now available to watch the Knights’ Class of 2022 in action and, with four different packages available, there really is something for everybody next year with the Knights! Full details on all of our 2022 Membership packages are available on our website at yorkcityknights.com/22Memberships.