‘Bloomers’ a man with a mission

Date published: Wednesday, October 9, 2013

OLDHAM winger Dale Bloomfield is a man with a mission.

Having become the eighth and latest member of last year’s Roughyeds’ squad to accept a new one-year contract, he has set himself a trio of targets in what will be his second season at Whitebank.

He wants 20 tries (nine more than this year) to equal his 2011 haul for Rochdale when he was third top try scorer in Championship One.

He aims to win himself a place in the division’s end-of-season dream team, three years after doing it in Rochdale colours.

And he cherishes an ambition to be part of a Roughyeds’ promotion-winning side which goes up automatically as champions without the trauma of going through the play-offs.

The 25-year-old, whose career began with hometown St Helens, said he had never felt as low as he did after Oldham’s 32-18 defeat by his former team Rochdale in the promotion-deciding final.

He added: “I never want to experience anything like that again. We were all absolutely gutted. But we’ll learn from it and come back all the stronger next season.

“If we hadn’t slipped up in a couple of games during the season, particularly against Oxford and Gloucester, both at home, we wouldn’t even have needed to be in a final. We would have been up and away, out of sight and looking forward now to life in the higher division.

“That’s a very important lesson which we will be taking into the 2014 season.

“In many ways we had a great season. The fans were brilliant. I can’t thank them enough. We are all sorry we couldn’t do it for them on the big day.

“Over the course of the season I wasn’t happy with my 11 tries. I should be scoring more than that and I intend to next year, especially if I can get my hands on the ball a bit more.

“Oldham is a good club. I was delighted to get the opportunity to re-sign.”

Nicknamed ‘Bloomers’, he patrolled the Roughyeds’ left wing in 23 out of 24 cup and league games, coming fourth in the club’s try-scoring list behind his centre Jon Ford (21), hooker Adam Files (15) and full-back Richard Lepori (12).

Coach Scott Naylor concurs with Bloomfield’s belief that he is good enough to score a lot more tries next season than he did this year.

Describing him as an ‘enigma’, Naylor said: “He doesn’t realise how good he can be. At the same time he’s a dressing room character who never shuts up. You need people like that around.

“He has everything you need to be a good winger — he’s good in the air, he’s got safe hands, he’s quick and he returns the ball with interest when retrieving opposition kicks.

“He seldom makes mistakes. I would back him to score one-on-one and he gives us security at the back when we’re defending.”