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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Workington Town will be hard to shift from league top spot - Shackley

Rapidly establishing himself as a cornerstone of the Workington Town pack, Marc Shackley is showing the qualities that first brought him to the attention of Warrington.

Marc Shackley photo
Marc Shackley

The Egremont forward was only 16 when he signed youth forms with the Super League club, after being spotted in a national training camp.

But three years with the Wolves, and a similar spell at Whitehaven, failed to earn him regular first team recognition. Now, in his second season with Town he is proving hard to dislodge from his second-row berth.

“That was one of the reasons I took the chance to join Town after having a good chat with Charlo [coach Gary Charlton]. I felt that I might get a chance and then it was up to me,” he says. But things didn’t go to plan in his first full season. He was playing against Doncaster when he clipped his cartilage and was six months on the sidelines.

“I had to have an operation in Wales so it was the end of my season. I tried to train again before our final against Keighley but it was no good.

“So it wasn’t until the pre-season that I got training hard again and I was fortunate to be given a good chance in the Ike Southward Memorial match with Whitehaven. Scoring two tries made it pretty memorable as well.

“I’ve managed to play regularly since then and I’m enjoying a run in the team. I just try and do my job around the park and I really am enjoying, because we do seem to have a side who enjoy playing for each other.

“There’s good banter at training and I really do think that we have a squad which is capable of staying the course. We have got to the top and I think we will be difficult to dislodge,” he says.

The 23-year-old has been turning in some eye-catching performances for Town and has established himself as a firm fans’ favourite at Derwent Park.

After his brace in the Ike Southard match, Shackley has helped himself to four more, including one in Sunday’s 58-0 home win over North Wales Scorpions.

“All I’ve ever wanted was a chance and since I’ve been given the opportunity I’m enjoying every minute,” says Shackley.

Modestly Shackley doesn’t shout the odds on any special qualities he has on the pitch. “I just try to do my job, when I’ve got the ball and when I have to do some tackling,” he says.

Certainly, if Town stay top Shackley will have a key role to fill, as he starts to show the qualities which first flickered as a teenager.



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