TOM Carr will be given the chance to claim a Featherstone Rovers first-team place next season.
The 20-year-old winger or full-back has consistently impressed in the Rovers reserves side but has been limited to three first-team appearances so far.
He has been promoted to next season’s first-team squad following the departure of winger Bryn Powell, who has left Rovers.
Powell (pictured) was Featherstone’s leading try scorer last season with 24 touchdowns. It was his second spell with the club after he rejoined them on a one-year contract from Dewsbury Rams. It is believed he is now considering retiring from playing.
Featherstone coach Daryl Powell said: “Tom Carr will be in the first-team squad. I really think it was time for him to be given an opportunity. He’s been outstanding in our reserves for the last two or three years and if we are genuine about bringing players through then this is the right time to give him a chance. I am confident he’ll do well.”
Featherstone full-back Ian Hardman has signed a new two-year deal. The 25-year-old former St Helens, Hull Kingston Rovers and Widnes Vikings player has been a key man for Rovers since he joined them in 2008, scoring 41 tries in 85 appearances in the last three seasons. He was out of contract at the end of this year.
Hardman is involved in the club’s community work and he will now also take on a new role helping to develop Featherstone’s under 18 players.
Powell said: “Ian has been an outstanding player for us over the last few seasons and we are delighted he has decided to stay with us and in an extended role as well. He has been a strong part of what we have done at the club.
“His game has been growing quite a bit over the last few years, which we are delighted about. I still think there is some improvement in Ian’s game and I know he will work exceptionally hard to make that improvement happen.
“As part of the contract, Ian will work with our young players to help develop the same high standard he has brought to Featherstone.
“He will be passing over the skills and the mindset for the things we do in the first-team down to under 18s. It is great that Ian has been around us for so long and knows exactly what we do and how we do it. I think it will be fantastic for our under 18s that a first-team player is working with them.
“He will be working alongside Rob Berry our first-team conditioner and there will be a couple of outstanding people passing on knowledge and information to our younger players.”
Hardman is pleased with the new contract and excited about his new role. He said: “I am delighted to sign for another two years and to build on the success we have already had.
“The new elements of the role are very exciting. Helping young players develop within the academy and then on to the first team is a great opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Featherstone have landed a new sponsorship deal with CPM (Contracts) Ltd.
As part of the deal, CPM (Contracts) Ltd - a leading player in the commercial building market - will feature on next season’s playing kit as a sleeve sponsor.
Rovers commercial manager Paul Taylor said: “ We are delighted that CPM (Contracts) Ltd has agreed to become a key associate in 2012.
“CPM first became involved in the club last season sampling our corporate hospitality and having a ground board at Bigfellas Stadium.
“It’s fantastic that CPM wish to further their involvement with Featherstone Rovers and support the club in our ambitious plans on and off the field. I would like to thank Ian Carter of CPM for his support of Featherstone Rovers and look forward to building the relationship further in 2012.”
Ian Carter, managing director of CPM (Contracts) Ltd, said: “After visiting the ground on a number of corporate days we at CPM were very impressed with the clubs attitude, enthusiasm and future plans and are proud to be associated with Rovers.”
Meanwhile, Rovers are staging a bonfire at Bigfellas Stadium on Saturday, November 5.
Gates open at 6pm, the bonfire will be lit at at 6.30pm and the fireworks start at 7.15pm. Food will be available and the main bar in the clubhouse will be open. Admission is £3 adults and £1 under 16s.