Commitment to the Roughyeds

Date published: Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DANNY Whitmore is an apprentice joiner . . . but in rugby league he has already chiselled out his future with his home-town club.

The 22-year-old hooker will be at Oldham for a third season in 2012 after signing a new one-year deal and vowing to live up to coach Tony Benson’s high expectations of what he can achieve.

“I thought I had a rather shaky season,” said the former Salford City Reds junior, “but I finished on a high with a few good performances and hopefully I’ll carry that on into 2012.

“We weve all disappointed that we didn’t perform at Rochdale in the play-offs, but we can’t do anything about that now so we’ve got to put it behind us and move on. There’s a new season not all that far away and we’ve got to start to focus on that.”

Whitmore was the youngest of three hookers in the Roughyeds’ senior squad last season, but he more than held his own alongside Martin Roden (31) and John Clough, who had his 27th birthday last week.

After a blip in mid-season when he played a couple of games in the reserves, the former Waterhead youngster regained his senior place and produced far more self-assured performances, picking up two or three man-of-the-match awards.

“He finished the season very strongly indeed,” said Benson, “and I’m highly pleased with his attitude and with the way he has come on in the last two years.

“He was more or less an academy player when he first arrived at the club, but he has made great progress and that is entirely down to him and to his great desire to be the best he can possibly be.

“He is dangerous in attack and tough in defence. He is quick, fit and agile — and he looks after himself to make sure he retains those qualities.

“On top of that he’s lively from dummy half, with a good pass and good pass-selection and I’m very excited about having him on board again next year.”

Whitmore is the ninth player to commit to Roughyeds for 2012 in a list that includes four who are stepping up from the reserves — half-back Jamie Dallimore, prop Danny Langtree, centre Dave Cookson and loose-forward Alex Thompson.

Dallimore is being monitored for a hamstring injury, but all four are included in the squad which is preparing for the reserve team’s biggest-ever challenge against Widnes Vikings in Sunday’s grand final at Whitebank (3pm kick off). Usual reserve-team prices apply, £4 adults, £2 concessions.

Coach John Hough, 80 minutes away from his first trophy triumph in charge of the under-23s, will be on the platform at the fans’ forum at Whitebank on Thursday, which starts at 7.30pm.

The reserves’ presentation night will be on Friday, September 30 at 7.30pm (tickets £5, including hot supper) and the first-team’s equivalent will be on Friday, October 7 (tickets £20, including three-course meal). It will be timed at 7pm for 7.30pm and places will be limited so early booking is essential at the club office in Lansdowne Road, Chadderton (tel: 0161 628 3677).