Dewsbury Rams announced new signing OJames Thornton recently and the Rams website caught up with the local lad as he explained why he wanted to join his hometown team.
Thornton born in Dewsbury is passionate about playing for the Rams, a team he joined as a reserve player when Glenn Morrison was head coach of the club.
On joining his hometown club, Thornton said: “Firstly I’d like to say thanks to the club for having me, I’ll be very proud to pull on that Rams shirt for the first time being a local lad. Not many people get the chance to play proudly for their hometown team.
“What people can expect from me is that I am really hard working and will do anything for my teammates, and I am just really pleased to be on board.
“I can’t wait to get going, I was there before with the reserves before signing for Hemel, and so even being in the reserves I always remember the fan base getting right behind us, so I am sure that steps up a notch when playing for the first team. My uncle Shayne Williams was a big name at the club 20 years ago and so it’s cool to be following in his footsteps, some of the older fans might be able to remember him.”
Thornton is looking forward to working under head coach Lee Greenwood and says the two have already had a number of chats about what Greenwood wants from the 24 year old.
“I had a chat with Lee (Greenwood) and he told me his plans going forward and his aspirations for the club. He told me what he wants out of his team and his forwards and how he’s building the team and squad. Like I said the main element is being able to pull on the shirt being a local lad.
“When I was talking to Lee he was telling me how the results had just gone against them in a few of the games and so that is something we’ll be wanting to change next season.
“Being a local lad I always kept an eye on the scores and if those results had gone different last year they would have finished higher up the league table.”
The former Sheffield and Featherstone man hasn’t had the easiest road so far in terms of playing in the Championship, however he insists that he’s now in great shape going into a full pre-season schedule before the season starts.
Thornton said: “I went to Hemel and then moved to Featherstone but after the first week there I ruptured my ACL and missed out for the majority of the season. After that I signed for Sheffield, so really in terms of Championship rugby I’ve always been playing catch up.
“However I am now fully fit and raring to go and to play a full season and like I say I’m just chomping at the bit to get going. Lee has told me what he wants from me as a player and I know what I need to improve on and what I need to work on.
“I have been obviously doing some fitness work throughout the off season getting ready for next year. My main aim is to get as fit as possible before pre-season starts so I have an edge on things and be the best version of me that I can be and tick those boxes that need ticking.
“When I was at Hemel they had a close connection with Dewsbury and so we got to use the 3G pitch, the wrestle room and gym. The gym and wrestle room weren’t there before but I have used the pitch so I am looking forward to using the new faculties.”
Finally Thornton insists that he’ll be trying to score a few tries during the 2020 season and believes that there will be great competition for places next year which he says is a good thing.
“That’s everyone’s main goal is to get over the line.” He said. “But ultimately my job will be to work as hard as I can and be aggressive in the right way.
“In my opinion that’s what betters you as a player, if you aren’t making the cut then you need to find out why and do all you can to make the cut and then the job is to keep hold of the shirt. I would much rather have plenty of completion for places.”