Clough ready to take Oldham up

Date published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011

OLDHAM have re-signed hooker John Clough, who believes Roughyeds will be gunning for promotion in 2012.

Formerly with Salford, Leigh and Blackpool, 27-year-old Clough has agreed a new deal that will keep him at Oldham for a second season.

“What I like most about him is his mental strength,” said coach Tony Benson.

“He will tackle adversity head on and come out the other side.

“On top of that he is dangerous out of dummy half; strong defensively; sharp when supporting up the middle; and vastly experienced.

“He brings a lot to our game. I’m happy to have him back.”

Despite competition from Martin Roden and Danny Whitmore, Clough played in most of Oldham’s 30 games last season.

“Competition keeps you on your toes,” he said. “I was fortunate to play in most of the games. When all three hookerswere available Tony often played Dogger (Martin Roden) at loose-forward.

Giving an insider’s view of the season, Clough said inconsistency was the side’s biggest weakness.

“We sampled lowlights and highlights,” he said, “but we were in a division in which most teams were evenly matched and there was a thin line between success and failure.

“We lost three league games by two points. They could have gone either way. If we had won them we would have finished third behind Swinton and Keighley.

“Injuries were also a big factor. It was a huge blow to lose Dave Ellison, Chris Clarke and Lucas Onyango for weeks and weeks on end, and it meant we had to do a lot of swooping and changing.

“Injuries are no excuse, but they certainly didn’t help.

“The reserves had a great season and hopefully some of them will get a first-team chance in 2012.

“The boys from the reserves who have already sampled first-team rugby did themselves proud. Hopefully, others will do the same next year.

“All things considered, we can hope for a much better season in 2012 when we could be pushing for promotion.”

ORSA, the club’s supporters’ association, will hold its monthly meeting at Whitebank on Thursday, starting at 8pm.

The association will hold a pre-Christmas table-top sale at Whitebank on Saturday, November 19 (10am to 3pm). Tables are available at £5, contact Paul Whalley on 07796631192.