Boults back on board

Date published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013

FOLLOWING Neil Roden’s retirement, prop-forward Jason Boults will provide the old head in a young Oldham RL squad next season.

Boults (30) has signed a new one-year deal to spend an eighth consecutive season with the Roughyeds, giving him the distinction of being second only to John Hough in terms of length of unbroken service.

“It’s good to have Jason around because he has that vital experience which the young props are lacking,” said coach Scott Naylor.

The former Halifax front-rower is the fourth prop to go on the Roughyeds’ roster for 2014, following Phil Joy (22), Michael Ward (22) and new boy Paddy Mooney from London Broncos, who is only 19.

Added Naylor: “You can’t put a price on loyalty and professionalism. Jason has those qualities in abundance. He trains well, looks after himself and is always reliable. He was solid all year.

“His professionalism shone through when he was out for a month in mid-season with broken fingers. He found it tough to get back into the side, but he saw it as a challenge. He gave the perfect response; forced his way back in; and then kept his place in the play-offs and then the final.

“Despite his many years at the sport’s coal face, he still has a great engine which enables him to consistently produce quality work for long spells.”

Boults made his Oldham debut in February, 2007 in a 24-8 home defeat by Rochdale Hornets. The starting pack was Boults, Hoyle, Mervill, Wingfield, Tamghart, Sinfield.

Seven seasons on, and looking forward to an eighth, he said: “It was an easy decision to re-sign because I’ve always been happy at Oldham. I was starting to lose a bit of enthusiasm, but I got it back this year.

“Most of the lads seem to be staying and that says a lot about how well the season went with Scott and ‘Spanner’ (assistant coach Lee Spencer) in charge.

“We had a disappointing end to a very good season. We were so close to our goal, yet in the end so far off, but that will only serve to motivate us as a squad to put things right next season.

“This time last year we were all new to each other, players and coaches alike, and as we were starting from scratch it was always going to take us a while to get going.

“This year everything is in place early, so there can be no excuses.

“At my age now I have to take things one season at a time, but I feel as fit as I’ve ever been and I’d like to think I’ve a few more seasons left in me yet.

“We’ll start pre-season work somewhere around the middle of next month, but I’ll start training on my own in a couple of week, working out regularly in the gym.

“I enjoy it, but it also gives me a bit of a start when we get together as a group.”

* The Roughyeds’ end-of-season dinner and awards night takes place at Whitebank on Saturday (7pm for 7.30pm). For tickets, priced at £20, ring Janet on 0161 624 9630, extension 70552.