Cookson goes for work reasons

Date published: Tuesday, February 24, 2015
DAVID Cookson and Oldham RL Club have parted company because the centre wants to commit himself entirely to his full-time employment.
The 26-year-old centre, a first-team regular for three seasons, signed a new one-year contract last autumn, but has since told the club that he can’t find the time to meet the Roughyeds’ rigid training schedules.
His registration will be retained by the club and he will be welcomed back with open arms if his domestic situation ever changes.
His loss will be regarded as a setback for coach Scott Naylor, who said Cookson was “getting better and better year on year”.
The former Oldham St Anne’s player spent a season and a half in Oldham’s reserve side before hitting the senior side at the start of the 2012 campaign.
He has been virtually an automatic choice ever since, scoring 17 tries in 55 outings and building a reputation as a fearsome tackler.
Said Naylor: “He has told us that work has had to become his priority, and we fully understand his situation.
“We would never want to stop any young fellow from trying to get on in life, but at the same time I must have every player available for training week in and week out throughout the season.
“We don’t have a single player now who doesn’t meet our schedules and that’s how it should be and how it will be.
“I would merely add that the door for ‘Cookie’ will always be open and if his circumstances change we will be delighted to welcome him back.”
On a similar theme, 18-year-old Jake Hughes, who impressed in last seasons under-20s side, has also left the club for similar reasons,
He signed his first pro contract last autumn.
Said Naylor: “He’s a young lad with lots of potential, but he took a new job which interfered with training.
“He has other commitments which stopped him coming to training regularly. Maybe it wasn’t the right time for him to commit to our rigid training schedules at semi-pro level.
“We came to an agreement which allowed him to go back to amateur rugby.”
The curtain goes up on Oldham’s 2015 season when League One newcomers Coventry Bears come to Whitebank on Sunday (3pm kick-off) in the first round of the League One Cup.
The Roughyeds’ new home kit will be slightly redesigned, but will remain predominately red and white hoops.
A new away kit will be in grey and pink.