'Sold me the dream': Elliot Wallis ready to establish himself at Huddersfield Giants after valuable Castleford Tigers experience
The 23-year-old made a surprise switch to the John Smith's Stadium last month in a deal that sent Innes Senior the other way to Castleford Tigers on a season-long loan.
After catching the eye with four tries and strong work out of backfield in 13 games in his only season at Castleford, Wallis feels ready to take the next step in his career.
"I was quite surprised with it all really," he said after signing a four-year deal with Huddersfield.
"I had another year left on my contract with Castleford so I was expecting to go back and play for them.
"I've been here, there and everywhere over the last few years so to sign something long term and get myself settled in somewhere, it gives me an opportunity to focus solely on my game now. I don't have to worry about when the next contract is coming.
"As soon as I spoke to Watto (Ian Watson, head coach) and GB (Greg Brown, head conditioner), I got really excited to sign for Huddersfield. Everything they said correlated with what I want to do myself.
"The things they saw for me are exactly what I wanted. They sold me the dream. It's definitely the right opportunity for me."
It was a season to forget for Castleford but it could prove to be the making of Wallis.
The City of Hull Academy product, who took a break from the game after starting out at Craven Park, earned a contract through his form for the reserves and grasped his first-team opportunity once it came his way.
His performances in a struggling side strengthened his belief that he can crack the top level.
"Because it fizzled out for me in the first place, confidence does start to drop," said the former Hull KR outside back.
"To come back I did have to have that belief that I was good enough, even if there is that thought in the back of your mind that you haven't done it yet.
"To blow the cobwebs away and get comfortable playing at this level was like a breath of fresh air for me.
"As much as it was a bad season for Cas, it was a season that allowed me to shine.
"I really did enjoy my time at Cas and was set on staying there. I'll look back and be happy that I did it."
Wallis left parent club KR and loan side Bradford Bulls on the same day in April 2021 before leaving the sport completely following a short stint at Midlands Hurricanes.
After turning to boxing full-time and helping out in a food bank alongside a leadership and management apprenticeship, Wallis is taking nothing for granted as he works towards his long-term goals.
"I'm just putting one foot in front of the other after having some time out of the game," he said.
"I'm nowhere near where I want to be. I haven't even set foot on the pitch for Huddersfield yet.
"I'm still right at the beginning. There's so much I want to achieve. I'm not satisfied yet.
"Everyone has an idea of how smoothly they want things to go but you can't think like that. You've just got to do the next minor thing and inch forward.
"Everyone wants silverware but personally I just want to play the best I can."