TEEN centre Oliver Gildart admits he got more from his loan spell at Salford than he expected.
He has returned to Wigan after completing his stint with the Red Devils, who have no game this weekend.
“I was buzzing to make my debut, and then I scored the week after, which was good. I certainly achieved what I wanted from it – even more, if anything.Oliver Gildart
Gildart, who has yet to play for the Warriors first-team, made three appearances for Iestyn Harris’s team.
And he admits he is hungrier than ever to crack into Wigan’s senior squad after getting a taste of Super League elsewhere.
He said: “I’ve really enjoyed it.
“I got thrown straight into the deep end, but it was really good.
“I was buzzing to make my debut, and then I scored the week after, which was good.
“I certainly achieved what I wanted from it – even more, if anything.
“It was great to get the chance to test myself against Super League players, and now I’ve done that it’s given me a bit of confidence, and I’m looking forward to the next time I can do it again.
“It’s going to be a bit of a step back now if I go back to the 19s but I’ll just keep trying my best and hopefully a chance will come.
“It’s given me that hunger to want to play for Wigan’s first-team now.
“Hopefully if I keep training well and playing well, I’ll get that shot.”
Gildart went to the Red Devils with prop James Greenwood, and also knew Scott Taylor, who moved from Wigan at the end of last season.
But he soon settled into the squad – even if his presence did make evergreen prop Adrian Morley feel his age!
“Moz said he played against my dad, so it made him feel old having me there,” smiled Gildart, whose dad Ian played for Wigan for most of his career, before spells at Wakefield and Oldham.
“It was great to play alongside him.
“Every time I was on my dinner I’d sit with him and listen to his stories – he’s been there and done it all, hasn’t he?
“And the thing is he’s still doing it – the minutes he does and the impact he makes, it’s extraordinary really.”
Gildart starred for England Academy against the Australian Schoolboys late last year, but missed the second Test after being drafted into Wigan’s Florida training camp.
Meanwhile, Josh Charnley, Ben Flower and Liam Farrell are all set to play against Hull KR this Friday night after all three were named in the provisional 19-man squad.
Sean O’Loughlin is again expected to start the Challenge Cup round six tie at No.13, while Charnley will take the wing spot vacated by Dom Manfredi, who suffered an ankle injury last Friday.
Wigan’s 19-man squad: John Bateman, Matty Bowen, Joe Burgess, Josh Charnley, Dom Crosby, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Ryan Hampshire, Michael McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Sean O’Loughlin, Larne Patrick, Sam Powell, Dan Sarginson, Matty Smith, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Joel Tomkins, George Williams.
Tickets for the game, at Leigh Sports Village, start from just £10 for adult season ticket holders.