DONS: Waterman stays but Hodson departs

WATER' SIGNING: Lee Waterman will be back in the blue and gold of the Dons next season. Picture: Andrew Roe.

WATER' SIGNING: Lee Waterman will be back in the blue and gold of the Dons next season. Picture: Andrew Roe.

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RECORD try scorer Lee Waterman has confirmed he has signed on for another season with the Dons – but he will not be alongside partner in crime Tom Hodson.

Rapid winger Hodson has opted to leave the Keepmoat and is expected to join Championship table toppers Featherstone Rovers.

Hodson and Waterman quickly developed a productive relationship this season and as a duo played a large part in the Dons going on to becoming Championship One’s top scorers.

Hodson missed the latter part of the season with a broken thumb.

The re-signing of centre Waterman – first revealed by the Free Press – provides a major boost to the Dons’ hopes for stability following promotion to the Championship.

Waterman has managed 34 tries this term, breaking Luke Gale’s record from 2008.

Prop Dean O’Loughlin joins Hodson in the departure lounge after deciding to retire from the game.

Ex-Dons prop Dominic Dee has returned to the club following a one year absence due to work commitments.

The impressive Liam Cunningham has joined the Dons full time for next season after leaving his hometown club Hull FC.

Stewart Sanderson, Chris Spurr, Fran Welsh, Mike Kelly and Grant Edwards have all agreed to stay with the Dons, taking the total number of re-signed players up to 16.

Head coach Tony Miller said: “We’re obviously very disappointed to lose both Tom and Dean and we would like to wish them all the best for their futures and thank them for their efforts this year.

“On the other hand we’re delighted to have kept Lee Waterman’s services after attracting plenty of interest from other clubs.

“Lee’s had a tremendous first season with the club and I hope 2013 is just as rewarding for him and the team.

“I would also like to welcome Dominic Dee back to the club and also Liam Cunningham who has agreed to stay on after leaving Hull FC.

“It’s great that so many of this season’s squad has stuck together and it should give us plenty of solidity and togetherness in the Championship next year.”

The Dons are back in action on Sunday as they host Workington Town with the winner going on to play Barrow Raiders in the Championship One Grand Final the following week in Warrington.