Today York RLFC have confirmed the departure of halfback Brendan O’Hagan as he returns to Australia after representing Ireland in the Rugby League World Cup.
As the halfback bid farewell to the club on the eve of the 2023 season, he has backed York for a big future and to be a “heavy-hitter” in Super League soon:
“I’ve loved my time here. It’s been a beautiful place to live and been such a great Club to play for.
“My time here has been unreal. The fans have been so welcoming and I want to thank the Club for bringing me over and the playing group, who are a great bunch of blokes.
“In the wider community, I’ve been taken in with open arms and it’s made my stay here a lot easier than others could imagine and I want to thank them for that.
“It’s just a shame that it’s had to come to an end now.
“The Club is moving forward and I’m so happy to have been part of the journey.
“I wish the Club nothing but success in the coming years. I’m sure that in the next few years, they’ll be up in Super League and be a heavy-hitter there too.”
Knights Head Coach Andrew Henderson meanwhile acknowledged it presents him and the club with a challenge: “It’s really disappointing because I know what a quality player and person Brendan is.
“It’s disappointing that he doesn’t feel like York is the place for him at this time and he wants to return home.
“I was looking forward to working with him and developing him further as a player and a person and I know he had quality which would have added to this team.
“But the reality is you can’t control how people are thinking and feeling.
“He felt like, having not been home in a number of years, he really missed being home and asked for a release and I’m not going to stand in anyone’s way.
“This is just another challenge you face as a Head Coach and we’ll get through it.
“We’ve got two quality fit half-backs in Liam Harris and Ata Hingano, with Jamie Ellis on the return.
“Plus we’ve got Jesse Dee and Matty Marsh who can play in the halves too.
“I’ve got confidence that whoever we choose in the half-back positions will understand our systems, what we need and they’ll deliver.
“As much as Brendan will be sadly missed by the Club and his team-mates, we’ll manage to carry on.”