Owen Harrison: Grassroots, Academy, Pro.
GRM went to catch up with a promising forward who has a shown he has the potential to deliver so much more.
Owen Harrison was part of the famous West Hull U16’s treble winning squad, who has since followed is great grassroots career with a string of high-quality performances for the City Of Hull Academy. Recently Owen progressed even further, signing his first professional contract with Hull Kingston Rovers as well as a first team official squad number .
I was keen to discuss his journey to a professional deal.
When Hull KR approached you about signing a professional contract, what was your reaction to this?
I was over the moon, it’s everything I’ve worked for my entire life from starting rugby at the age off 5 and standing in the east stand growing up and supporting Rovers my entire life, it’s all I ever wanted. I came through the scholarship at age 14 and then through the academy and to finally signing a professional contract I couldn’t have been any happier.
What was the message from Tim Sheens to get you on board with Hull KR and what does he expect from you?
Tim expects me to be at the club for a long time and when I spoke to him before signing he made it really clear that he had big plans for me in the future hence the 3 year deal. He said I have all the skills to play the way he wants ,I just need to concentrate and put a lot off time into the gym and grow physically to be able to cope with the physicality off playing week in, week out in the Super League.
How much of an impact was City Of Hull Academy to you getting this deal with the club?
Massive, City Of Hull have been great with me, it raised a few eyebrow's when they first merged but I don’t think anyone can argue with the talent it has brought through so far, I think 6 players signed first team last year never mind how many have signed since they’ve been started! They have been really good with my development over the past 3 years since I first started in 2015.
What is your message to your fellow City Of Hull Academy teammates to follow your example and try to get themselves a professional contract?
There’s a lot of talent down there and there’s no reason why all of them can’t get contracts, it just comes down to being consistent and not getting your head down if things aren’t going your way. I didn’t play every game in my first year of academy, just don’t sulk about it and keep working hard and even if you don’t think it ,trust me, the coaches and the staff notice you!
Several players who have signed from City of Hull Academy to Hull KR have already had valuabel first team experience, do you think you can become another first team player from the academy in a short period of time?
Yeah of course I do or I wouldn’t be there if I didn’t think I could, I think within the next year or so I could hopefully break in to the 17 but it’s proving that I deserve the chance first in training on the pitch and in the gym once I do get my chance ,I just need to take it with both hands and prove that I can play at this level.
Finally, what is your style of play for a forward?
I grew up as a outside back/half back so when I progressed into the forwards I was used as a bit of ball playing middle, but as I’ve progressed into the first team every middle can play with the ball and there isn’t just one middle that does it. Recently I’ve been really just trying to get my work rate up and just being an aggressive, nasty middle that just enjoys doing the hard work for the team!
THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SPEAK TO GRM OWEN! CONGRATULATIONS ON A PROFESSIONAL CONTRACT AS WELL AS EARNING YOUR FIRST SQUAD NUMBER AND WE WISH YOU BEST OF LUCK WITH YOUR NEW TEAM.