‘An opportunity too good to turn down’ as Sam Eseh lifts lid on ‘surreal’ move to Wigan Warriors
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The 20-year-old joins the champions on a two-year deal from relegated Wakefield, with the option of a third season in the club’s favour.
Eseh won the 2022 Championship Young Player of the Year award following some stellar performances for both Featherstone Rovers and Barrow Raiders on loan, and was rewarded with his Super League debut the following season against Huddersfield by recently-departed Trinity coach Mark Applegarth.
He made a further 14 appearances but could not help the side avoid relegation from the top flight in 2023, which saw the youngster attract interest from several clubs.
And Eseh admits the prospect of working under boss Peet alongside a champion team made the decision an easy one in the end, becoming the club’s sixth new signing.
“It’s still a bit surreal to be honest, I’m really excited,” Eseh said.
“I went in last week and I’ve met a few of the boys since, including Liam Marshall and Mike Cooper.
“There were a few other clubs interested, but I’m a Wigan player and that’s where I’ll be happiest.
“I couldn’t turn down the opportunity. It’s such a prestigious club with a rich history and I’m really happy that I’ve signed for Wigan.”
Peet has guided his side to three titles in just two seasons in charge of the club, with this year’s League Leaders’ Shield and the Super League trophy added to the 2022 Challenge Cup triumph over Ian Watson’s Giants at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The 2023 Grand Final glory at Old Trafford could be a sign of things to come for the Warriors, with a new era of dominance predicted by many pundits across the sport, with the average age of the team that defeated Catalans Dragons in Manchester earlier in October just 26.
“I can’t wait and I feel like Matt Peet will do a lot for my development,” Eseh continued.
“It’s shown what he’s done for Wigan, it’s something I can’t wait to be a part of.
“How young the squad is and how he gives people an opportunity is another thing that attracted me.
“To be training with such talented youngsters, it’s only going to make me better as a player.”
Despite their troubled 2023 campaign that included just four Super League wins from 27 rounds, Eseh is thankful for his time at Belle Vue which has helped him become the player that he is ahead of his move to the DW Stadium.
"There were plenty of ups and downs, but I’m grateful,” Eseh said of his time at Wakefield.
"I feel like experiencing that type of pressure at such a young age has taught me a lot about myself and the pressures of needing to win a game, reflecting and asking yourself serious questions about what’s going wrong.
"It was sad that we couldn’t keep the club up in Super League, but I’m grateful for the lessons it has taught me.”