Wakefield Trinity is currently a club heading in the right direction, both on and off the field. With their financial future somewhat secure under chairman Michael Carter, and with a fifth-place finish in 2017 behind them, Trinity fans have a number of reasons to be cheerful. One of these reasons as to why the Wakefield faithful can look forward to 2018 is the increasing number of young talent coming through their ranks.

Despite star winger Tom Johnstone - who was out for most of last season with a severe knee injury - progressing from Trinity's academy to the first team, he is one of only two to have done so in recent years with forward Chris Annakin the other.

However, all this could change in the near future; the likes of James Batchelor, Jordan Crowther and Lewis Wray are all hoping to make some sort of impact in the upcoming season. Yet one name, in particular, stands out.

Luke Hooley

Luke Hooley has only been on Wakefield Trinity's books since March 2017, but he is definitely one to look out for in the near future. The winger turned full-back signed a two-and-a-half-year deal back in March last year - his first professional contract - at the age of 18 after joining Trinity's Under-19s as a free agent in the close season. Prior to him signing this deal, Hooley had already shown his credentials, scoring five tries in seven appearances for Wakefield's Under-19s. Since signing on the dotted line, Hooley has not looked back.

The former Dewsbury Moor amateur impressed so much in the full-back position for the Wakefield academy that he was sent on-loan to Championship sides Dewsbury and Oldham midway through the 2017 season.

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For both teams, he made six appearances, but for Oldham he highlighted his prolific goal-kicking ability, registering 18 conversions in his time at the club as well as two man-of-the-match performances.

Despite both Max Jowitt and Scott Grix battling alongside him for the No.1 position going into 2018, Hooley, a confident and classy full-back with an attitude that all young players should have, is likely to run both close for that starting berth in the new season. In recent weeks, Wakefield head coach Chris Chester has spoken of how well Hooley has been doing in pre-season, or in Chester's words, "training the house down" to try to earn a place in the Trinity side.

The youngster came off the bench to register an impressive first run-out for Wakefield in their Boxing Day defeat to Leeds and if Hooley can impress Chester even more before the season starts, the determined, skilful and incredibly talented teenager could well force himself into the reckoning for Chester's first-team squad going forward.

Read the other parts in this series by clicking these links:

Part one

Part two

Part three

Part four

Part five

Part six

Part seven

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