Dallimore picks up awards

Date published: Thursday, October 6, 2011

HALF-BACK Jamie Dallimore picked up two major trophies at the Oldham RL reserve team’s presentation night and admitted: “I owe it all to my dad.”

The 23-year-old former amateur international was awarded the Supporters’ player-of-the-year trophy, sponsored by ORSA, and also coach John Hough’s player-of-the-year trophy, backed by Doughty’s Gym of Shaw.

Dallimore, who played twice in the first team last season, has since signed a pro contract to cover 2012 together with three of his team mates from the championship-winning reserve team, loose-forward Alex Thompson, prop Danny Langtree and centre David Cookson.

He said: “I’m absolutely made up to win these awards, and I feel so proud.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities the club has given me, but I have to say my dad has been a big influence. When I left Warrington and Houghie (coach John Hough) gave me a ring, it was my dad who urged me to give it a try at Oldham.

“I hadn’t been here long and I was still a bit unsure, but once again my dad persuaded me to give it a bit longer. Now, I can’t thank him enough.

“As other players came in and we started setting goals, I knew we could look forward to a good season, and so it proved.

“I enjoyed my two games in the first team — the money aspect is good too — and now I’m hoping for a good pre-season and more first-team opportunities in 2012. If not, though, I would willingly step down to the reserves and play for them.”

Hough said 21-year-old Thompson had run Dallimore close for the top award, but the half-back edged it thanks to his consistency over the ten months since the squad was assembled last autumn for pre-season training.

Thompson, though, got the backing of his peers in winning the players’ player-of-the-year trophy, sponsored by OHM Electrical Services.

The highly-rated former Warrington youngster, who was on a full-time contract with the Super League club, said: “I was going well at Warrington but a new coach came in and told me to find another club.

“I fell out with the game and then I ‘found’ Oldham. To come here was the best decision I’ve ever made, and believe me, I’m not just saying that because it sounds good on a presentation night. I mean it sincerely.

“I’m not usually too bad with words, but I’m a bit shocked to get the vote of the rest of the lads because I missed a few games with hamstring trouble over the course of the season.

“What a fantastic finale we had. When we got our second victory over Widnes in the play-off semi-final at their ground, and gave them a good hiding in the bargain, I knew we would win the final at Whitebank.

“I told the other lads: ‘We’ve done them twice over there so if we can’t beat them a third time at home we’ll be offering it to them on a plate’. I knew we wouldn’t do that.”

Dallimore’s half-back partner, Tommy Connick, picked up a trophy as the most improved player of the year, sponsored by 7L7L.

Said Hough: “We suffered a heavy defeat at Dewsbury early in the season and Paul Ashton and I sat down with the half-backs to look at what we could do to make sure we didn’t cop another loss like that.

“We decided to give the players a bit more freedom to express themselves and from that point on Tommy became massively instrumental in how we played.”

Of the 17 games played after that, Houghie’s men won 14, drew one and lost two — one by four points at Leigh and the other with an injury-hit squad on the last day of the regular season at Whitehaven when they were already assured of a second-place finish in the league.