Ashton signs new dealDate published: Tuesday, September 22, 2015
PROMOTED Oldham RL Club have re-signed Tom Ashton, who has pledged to spend the entire off season working hard on his general fitness.
The 23-year-old former Sheffield Eagles centre has committed to a new one-year deal as Roughyeds plan ahead for life in the Championship.
He is back playing after missing most of this season with a knee injury, but he knows he is way behind other members of the squad in terms of general fitness.
He smashed a knee in only his second game at South Wales Scorpions in April and he was out for four months with serious ligament damage.
He has since made four appearances during the run of 14 wins in a row, but he didn’t play in the side that beat Keighley at Whitebank on Sunday to clinch promotion, Scott Naylor choosing to go with George Tyson and Jon Ford as his centres.
Said Ashton: “My knee is okay now, but because I’ve missed so much rugby since April I’m playing catch-up on general fitness.
“It’s hard to slot back into a winning team that is supremely fit when you’ve been out for such a long time. I can play a lot better than I’ve shown in my recent appearances, but I need to rebuild my confidence and get properly fit.
“When you’re toiling a bit you’ve got to manage your game accordingly and that’s easily picked out in a winning team.
“I’ve a lot of work to do, but I’ve only played six games of rugby all year so I don’t need a close-season rest like the lads who’ve done a full season.
“I’m going to be working right through on my own so that by the time pre-season training comes around in November I won’t be starting from scratch.
“I know I have a lot more than I’ve shown up to now, so I’m going to get my head down, work hard on getting bigger, stronger and faster and focus on making a fresh start next season.
“If we can keep the core of the squad together I’m sure we’ll do okay in the Championship and have a decent season.”
Oldham have now announced four signings for 2016 — Lewis Palfrey, new-boy Jamel Chisholm, a winger, and Ashton on one-year deals and Danny Langtree on a two-year agreement.
Others are expected soon.