Gildart rejected better offers to stay loyal
Oliver Gildart turned down more money elsewhere to remain at Wigan, executive director Kris Radlinski has revealed.
The centre – Super League’s current Young Player of the Year – was out of contract at the end of this season.
He had attracted interest from clubs on both sides of the world but stayed loyal to his hometown club.
Asked whether he could have earned more elsewhere, Radlinski said: “Probably, yeah.
“He had some big decisions to make because there was a lot of interest from overseas.
“There were clubs he met, and when you get someone like that – a Young Player of the Year, marketable, coming off contract – there was obviously a lot of Super League interest as well.”
Gildart is still 21 but has already played in two Grand Finals, a Challenge Cup Final and a World Club Challenge.
He has never shied away from the fact he would like to have a crack at the NRL at some stage in his career.
Earlier this year he was included in the revived England Knights squad – a development side for the full national team.
He has touched down nine times in Super League to put him joint-fourth on the competition’s try-scoring charts.
Radlinski said: “By his admission and our admission he’s not hit the heights this year but over the last month he’s shown glimpses of what he can do.
“I think the contract situation was playing on his mind a little bit.
“I hope, now this pressure has been relieved from him, we’ll see him kick on again. I don’t think it’ll be too far away before he’s on the international scene.”