Files in squad at Barrow

Date published: Friday, January 31, 2014
ADAM Files, a hit with Oldham RL fans while on long-term loan from Salford last year, may be lined up for another season at Whitebank.
The talented young hooker scored 15 tries for Roughyeds in his first season of senior rugby — second only to dual-registered centre Jon Ford’s 21 — before returning to his Super League club where he has done most of his pre-season training ahead of the 2014 campaign.
Oldham coach Scott Naylor revealed today, however, that Files has been training with Roughyeds for the last few sessions.
Naylor also confirmed that the hooker, who was 21 three weeks ago, will be in the Oldham squad which goes to Barrow on Sunday (2pm kick off) for the first of three pre-season warm-up games.
“Adam will play at Barrow with a view to remaining with us for another full season,” said Naylor. “It will be great to see him in a Roughyeds’ jersey again, but there’s nothing more I can say right now about the overall situation with him.”
The picture is expected to become clearer over the weekend.
Supporters will welcome news that the club is hoping to keep hold of Files, a key member of the Oldham side which finished second in Championship One last term, finishing only two points behind promoted North Wales Crusaders.
A prolific try scorer from dummy half, he played in every game in all competitions, running in 15 tries in 24 appearances and scoring at least one try in eight consecutive matches.
In addition to Files, Naylor is looking to bring in at least two more players “sooner rather than later”.
His squad to go to Championship club Barrow won’t be finalised until tomorrow, but it won’t include club captain Lewis Palfrey, prop Phil Joy and back-row man Josh Crowley.
Half-back and goalkicker Palfrey has a slightly torn muscle and he won’t be risked on a pitch that is expected to be heavy and to cut up.
Medical staff are optimistic, however, that he will be cleared to play against Swinton Lions at Whitebank in nine days time.
Player-of-the-year Joy is out with a long-standing groin problem for which he is to undergo extensive rehabilitation.
Crowley, one of only two ever-presents last season, misses out because of a long-standing family commitment.
Said Naylor: “We’ll be involved in a tough physical battle, especially up the middle, and I’m particularly disappointed to be without Phil Joy. I was led to believe he was going to be okay, but as its turned out, he isn’t.”
Squad to travel: Agoro, Bloomfield, Boults, Cookson, Files, Gee, Hobson, Hughes, Langtree, Mooney, Nield, Robinson, Thompson, Ward, Whitehead, Whitmore, Wood.
The Oldham players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect for one of the club’s dedicated backroom workers Nigel Marland, whose funeral service was to be held at Oldham Crematorium this afternoon.
Coached by former Oldham half-back Anthony Murray, Barrow have already had one pre-season run-out, beating fellow Championship side Keighley Cougars 18-16 at Craven Park.
They will be without on-loan Leigh Centurions prop Chris Rowe, who has a broken hand, and there will be late fitness checks on pacy winger James Nixon (back) and loose-forward Dan Toal (sternum).