Date published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013

OLDHAM RL have added to their backroom staff with the appointment of local man Mark Davenport as under-20s coach Phil Costin’s assistant.

Davenport (33), the former Saddleworth, St Anne’s and Shaw Rhinos prop, starts working for Roughyeds immediately and will be alongside Costin when the Roughyeds’ youngsters play their first league game at Leigh on Friday night.
Costin said of his new No 2: “He brings many attributes which will help us to take the players forward. I’ve known him a long time and I think that’s important.
“He is keen and enthusiastic and, as a bonus, he’s a real Oldham Rugby fan.”
Davenport played prop in Costin’s Shaw Rhinos team of 2004 which caused an upset by beating Waterhead in the Standard Cup final at Boundary Park.
Later, he became Costin’s right-hand man at Saddleworth when Costin was in charge of the Rangers’ under-18s squad. 
His rugby routeway has now taken him full circle, given that he signed for the former Oldham Bears club when he was 18 and straight out of college.
Speaking of his Watersheddings days, Davenport said: “I was a keen footballer as a young boy — on associate schoolboy forms at Bury — but I took to rugby league at college. Somebody must have thought I had something to offer because I had only played seven or eight games when Brian Gartland signed me up to play in Oldham RL Club’s academy team.
“I owe a lot to Brian and his son Shaun for having faith in me and introducing me to what you might call ‘serious’ rugby league. I am privileged now to have been given this opportunity to work with Phil in doing a similar job to that which Brian did at Watersheddings.
“I’ve been out of the game for three years, but I am genuinely honoured to be given the chance to help to take the club forward via the youth programme and the under-20s.
“Scott Naylor (head coach) is very ambitious for the club and he has loads of good ideas which he believes will help the club to progress.
“I’m excited by the challenge of doing my bit for my home-town club and I hope I can justify the faith placed in me by club chairman Chris Hamilton and Phil Costin.”
Fans will tonight (wed) be given the opportunity to meet the full 22-man senior squad and coaches Naylor and Lee Spencer at a pre-season meet-the-players night in the Whitebank club, starting at 7.30pm. Admission free.