Halifax Panthers have announced that Ben Kavanagh has signed a new one year deal with the club, keeping him at The Shay until the end of the 2024 Betfred Championship season.
Halifax-born forward Kavanagh first joined the Panthers back in 2019, having previously enjoyed spells with Widnes Vikings, Wakefield Trinity and Hull Kingston Rovers.
The 35 year old back rower has been in sensational form for the club in recent years since suffering a horrific dislocated hip during the 2020 pre season. Kavanagh worked hard to regain his fitness again before showing the Fax faithful why Simon Grix wanted to bring the hometown lad back to The Shay, posing a constant threat to opposition defences on the edges.
And Kavanagh was pleased to be extending his stay at The Shay into a sixth season.
“I’m happy with the news. Last year I told myself maybe this would be my last year but my body still feels good. I know I’m knocking on a bit but I try to look after myself and I’m good to go around again next year. Me and Simon briefly spoke about it, he just asked how my body was feeling, what was I thinking about doing and would I be happy doing another year and I ended up agreeing to that so we’ll see how the body is next year and go from there.”
“It secures me for another 12 months so I can just focus on playing well. We’re starting to build some form now and hopefully we can kick on again, push towards the top of that league and build some momentum into the play offs.”
“To represent my hometown club, I think I’m about 15 games off a hundred for Halifax so hopefully I can get that milestone before I finish off. I’ve struggled with some bad injuries over the years but to make over 350 career appearances is a great achievement and to be able to get 100 for my hometown club is something I’m really excited about.”
Panthers head coach Simon Grix continued: “We’re happy to have Kav on board for another year from a lot of angles really. Obviously, he’s been great for us for the last couple of years, especially since switching to back row which I think has probably extended his career as well. And coming back after such a terrible injury a couple of years ago, I think he’s done really well.”
“He’s one of the first names on the team sheet to be fair, pretty consistent. He’s in decent shape, he looks after himself well and I think he’s still got another year in him definitely. He’s a local lad and ticks that box as well and also adds to what will hopefully be a smaller turn around of personnel this time. I know over the last few years for multiple different reasons we’ve had quite a few changes and we’re going to try to minimise that. There will be changes, there always is but we’ll try to minimise that this time around.”
“Along with Bob (Fairbank) and Adzy (Tangata), he’s part of the fabric of this club and what this team has been for a long time so I think it’s good to have their experienced prints on the next crop coming through. There’s a number of lads underneath them in age that in all likelihood, all being well, they’ll be here a long time as well so it’s sort of a passing the torch kind of process over time if you like. But each of them, in particular Kav, have still got plenty to offer so yeah, I’m happy he’s on board.”
“It was an easy conversation, I think he’s enjoying it and that’s a big factor in it especially as you get older. That becomes more and more of a factor in your decision making. And obviously, being local, it fits and I don’t think he’d play anywhere else. If there was nothing here, I don’t think he’d turn out for anyone else so happy it’s done. And we’ve got it done early as well which is good so he can get on with his rugby.”