Files capture is a pointer…..Chris

Date published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014
CHRIS Hamilton says the capture of Adam Files on contract has laid down a marker as to Oldham RL Club’s ambitions for 2014 and beyond.
“Given the amount of interest in him from clubs in the higher Championship division, this is a major signing for us,” said the Roughyeds’ chairman.
North Wales Crusaders, who pipped Oldham for automatic promotion in 2013, were believed to be the Roughyeds’ biggest rival for Files’s signature when his Salford contract expired last autumn.
This time last year the young hooker had only recently left his teenage years behind and he had never played a single game in senior rugby.
Super League club Salford allowed him to come on season-long loan to Whitebank where he was an instant hit in Championship One, scoring tries in eight consecutive games and finishing with 15 in 24 appearances overall in cup and league.
He and second-row forward Josh Crowley were the Roughyeds’ only ever-presents.
While playing a key role in his side’s neck-and-neck race with ultimate champions North Wales Crusaders, Files finished with 13 tries in 19 league games, comprising 16 home-and-away fixtures and three play-off ties.
He gave two outstanding performances against the high-flying Welshmen.
In a 22-20 defeat at Wrexham he scored one try and had another touchdown harshly disallowed for a double movement near the end of a top-of-the-table thriller.
He didn’t score in the Roughyeds’ outstanding 28-10 win in the return fixture at Whitebank, but in front of the biggest crowd of the season (1,209) he came off the bench to have a blinder.
Added Hamilton: “On the strength of his performances for us last year, a few Championship clubs were after him, but he opted to stay at Whitebank because he enjoyed his rugby so much here while on loan.
“He learned a lot in his first season of first-team rugby, and now he’s a year older and wiser.”
Files, who was 21 last month, said that after much deliberation he decided his future prospects would be best served by continuing to play first-team rugby at Oldham rather than taking a chance and staying at Salford out of contract.
He added: “Once I had decided to leave Salford, there was only one club for me and that was Oldham.
“Last season at Whitebank was great. It would also have been a wrench to leave Scott (coach Naylor) and ‘Spanner’ (assistant boss Lee Spencer). I’ve been with them since I was a kid.
“I’m just hoping that this time we can get to the final again, and win it.
“With a few new players in the team we had a good first work-out at Barrow on Sunday. Things can only get better too — that’s what practice games are for.”
The arrival at Whitebank of prop Alex Davidson sees Files in partnership again with another young player who signed for Salford when he was 16.
“We’re in the same age group and we came through the system together at Salford,” said Files, whose dummy-half break provided Davidson with a try-scoring debut at Barrow.
* The Raiders are waiting to see if the RFL’s match review panel will take further action following an incident in which Jason Boults was up-ended with his legs above the horizontal in a two-man tackle early in the second half.
The Oldham prop was unhurt and quickly to his feet, but Barrow were penalised and the tackle was placed on report despite this being a hard but fair contest which was otherwise incident free.