12:00pm Friday 11th July 2014
By Chris Kirwan
FLY-HALF Tom Hancock is aiming to help Pontypool return to the Principality Premiership after signing up for a third spell at the club.
The 28-year-old has made his Pooler move permanent after playing for the club 10 times in the Swalec Championship last season on permit from Newport.
Hancock first turned out for Pontypool in 2008 but left for the Black and Ambers following the controversial demotion from the top flight, and subsequent costly High Court battle, in 2012.
The left-footer helped Pooler to finish strongly last term – they won seven of their last eight – and is excited by the upcoming campaign.
“It is a great club that grabs hold of you and sucks you into a friendly, tight knit environment where it is a pleasure and honour to play,” said Hancock.
“I know all about what it means to play for Pontypool having played with some passionate local boys over the years that would literally give anything to and for the club.
“Having played ten games at the end of last season, I feel that I have had a head start and have learned how to play with the players already here and within the team's style of play.
“Hopefully I can play as well as I can and help the team to progress back into the Welsh Premiership where we all feel that we belong.”
Hancock is looking to pull the strings in what promises to be a feisty tussle for the title with Swansea, RGC 1404, Bargoed, Cardiff Met and Narberth.
“There is a strong squad here with a robust, dynamic pack and a lethal backline and I can't wait to be a part of the future as we look to gain promotion,” he said.
“Our supporters are first class and get right behind the team, and there was a great feeling of optimism and positivity around the Park at the end of last season that I know will carry through pre-season and help us start in earnest in September with a bang.”
Pooler have retained the core of their squad from last term and have also snapped up influential openside Rob Nash from Coventry.
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