Contract talks ongoing

Date published: Wednesday, October 8, 2014
DESPITE their desperately disappointing 17-16 Grand Final defeat, Oldham RL Club hope to re-sign most of their players for 2015, revealed coach Scott Naylor.
Every player on the books is out of contract, but skipper Lewis Palfrey, Josh Crowley and Steve Roper, to name but three, have already stated publicly that they see their immediate futures at Whitebank.
Crowley has said he is happier at Oldham than he ever was at Warrington Wolves or Widnes Vikings.
He added: “There are a few reasons for that, Scott (Naylor) and ‘Spanner’ (assistant boss Lee Spencer) being two of them.
“Scott’s a man’s man. If he’s anything to say, he’ll tell you straight. I like that. You know where you stand.”
And Naylor, whose own two-year contract runs out soon, said: “We started talking in general terms about next season a while ago and we decided then that, no matter which division we were going to be playing in next year, we wanted to keep most of the squad together.
“We made a similar decision last year and by keeping the nucleus of the squad together we grew as a team and became more consistent.
“If we can do the same again this time, with another year under our belts, we will become more consistent again in what is going to be an extremely tough third-tier competition.”
As the Oldham boss feels it will be necessary next year to have in place a stronger squad than in either of his two previous seasons at Whitebank, it follows that he will also be looking to top-up with new recruits.
Work on signing players and building for life in the new 14-club League One will go up a notch now that the Grand Final is consigned to the record books.
Of the 17 who played at Headingley, Jon Ford, Gareth Owen, Nathan Mason and George Tyson were on loan and the other 13 were fully-fledged Oldham players.
Also there as part of the official party were Sam Gee, Paddy Mooney, Mo Agoro, Mark Hobson, Ben Wood and Adam Files.
Files missed most of the season with a knee problem, but he was cleared to resume training a fortnight ago and says he is already looking forward to next season.
“I’m back in full training, and I’ll also be working hard during the close season in readiness for pre-season traning,” he said.
Said Naylor: “It will be like having a new player — and what a player! He’s an outstanding talent. To have him available for the first day of pre-season in mid-November will be fantastic.”