Crowley ready to ‘sweat blood’

Date published: Thursday, September 12, 2013

JOSH Crowley finds it “frustrating” that Oldham have to compete in the play-offs after finishing as Championship One runners-up, nine points ahead of third-placed Rochdale.

He believes Roughyeds deserved to go up to the Championship automatically with champions North Wales Crusaders and he is ready to sweat blood to make it happen via the alternative route.

As the fourth member of this year’s young squad to sign on again for 2014, 21-year-old Crowley is banking on Scott Naylor’s boys having plenty to celebrate at around 4.30pm at Leigh Sports Village on September 29.

“We deserve it, but the way things are we’ve still to win two more games to reach our goal so we’ve a lot of work to do,” said the former Widnes Vikings back-row forward, who has played in each of Oldham’s 21 competitive games in all competitions this year.

He added: “As young players we all aspire to go as far in the game as we can, so it’s important to all of us that we get up into the Championship.

“Whatever happens, though, I’m committed to Oldham now for another year because I honestly believe the club is going places and I want to be part of it. If it means waiting another year for promotion so be it, but hopefully it won’t come to that.”

Playing at centre, Crowley was Premier Sports’ man of the match when Roughyeds won 30-25 at Rochdale in a televised thriller a month ago.

Now he’s gearing up for an encore in Sunday’s play-off derby clash at Whitebank (3pm) in the hope of helping Roughyeds to a place in the final.

As a young second-row pair, Crowley and 22-year-old Danny Langtree, his senior by seven months, have played a huge part in a Roughyeds’ season that has surpassed all expectations.

Crowley has also performed creditably at centre on numerous occasions when there has been a gap to fill in the threequarter line.

He went on: “Centre isn’t my natural position, but I’m just glad to be in the team and to be able to do my bit for the team.

“I’m hoping to be back in the second-row on Sunday, but wherever I play I’ll be expecting a tough encounter. Compare our league record with theirs and the difference is substantial, but that doesn’t count for anything in any derby game, let alone such an important one as this.”

Naylor won’t name his line-up until Saturday, but Crowley will figure somewhere in the starting 13, as he has done all season.

Said the Roughyeds boss: “Josh has been a revelation. Before I signed him, he had never played outside of Academy rugby, so it was a big ask to expect him to step up.

“He has gone better as the season has gone on. He gives you everything he has to give.

“He’s young and he has come through with flying colours. I can only see him getting better.”