Another new capture

Date published: Thursday, November 27, 2014
OLDHAM have signed a young player from Leigh whose ambition is to carve a full-time career out of rugby league.
Once full time at Salford, but now working as an IT technician in a Bolton primary school, 20-year-old Jack Holmes has followed his pal George Tyson to Whitebank, having been convinced that Oldham is the club to nurture his ambition and put him back on the right road.
“My goal is to make a living from rugby, but first I need more experience of playing against men, as opposed to lads in my own age group,” said Holmes, a full-back or half-back who spent three years at Salford, followed by short spells with Halifax and then his home-town club, Leigh.
Scott Naylor is sure Holmes’s personal targets within the game are attainable and says he will be a quality signing.
“I’m very pleased he decided to join us and I’m looking forward to working with him,” added the Roughyeds’ head coach.
“He has worked his way through good systems while he’s been growing up in the game. And hopefully we’ll improve his game and see him playing regular first-team rugby.
“I want to see Jack on the field playing for Oldham, but there’s a fair bit of competition so that’s largely down to him.
“Given the players we have already signed, Jack was exactly the sort of lad I wanted to sign next — young, versatile and able to play in a couple of different positions.
“We’ve now got three players who will give me loads of back-division options.
“Steven Nield can play full-back, wing and, at a pinch, centre; Jarrod Ward is right for full-back or wing; and now comes Jack Holmes, who can operate at full-back and half-back.
“Consistency in selection is important, but you also need options and we already have more of those than we had last season.
“We’ve been talking a lot about ‘quality’ while assembling this squad and Jack has all the attributes that we are keen to promote and foster.”
Holmes signed for Salford from Leigh Miners Rangers when he was 16 and a year later he put pen to paper on a full-time, two-year contract.
After that, he signed a first-team contract at Halifax, but he didn’t get the opportunities he craved, so midway through last season he got his release and signed a reserve-team agreement at Leigh.
He hoped he would be offered a first-team contract for 2015, but he was only offered reserve-team rugby again.
Said Holmes: “I had already had a text from George (Tyson) asking me what I was doing. I was still pondering Leigh’s offer when Scott (Naylor) rang me and said he wanted to sign me.
“I then spoke to Chris Hamilton (Oldham chairman) and he convinced me that Oldham was the right place for me to be.
“I see it as a good opportunity for me to get some first-team rugby at a club where I will quickly settle in because I know so many of the players from our days at Salford.”
Holmes and Tyson will be among the new players attending Saturday’s 2014 awards night at Whitebank, tickets for which (£25 including three course dinner) can be bought from Janet at the club office on (0161) 624 9630 ext 70552.