First Showing

Date published: Friday, February 8, 2013

THE squad that Scott built will be showcased for the first time at Whitebank on Sunday (3pm kick off) when the ‘new’ Oldham RL warm-up for the 2013 season against their Super League link club Salford City Reds.

Brought in to revitalise a squad of under-achievers, no-nonsense boss Scott Naylor has spent the last four months signing new, and predominantly young, players whom he expects to perform in his image.
Only six are still here from last year —- Neil Roden, Jamie Dallimore, Liam Gilchrist, Jason Boults, Michael Ward and David Cookson.
Naylor’s TWELVE new boys include three 19-year-olds in winger Mo Agoro from Leeds Rhinos, prop Callum Marriott from Salford and hooker Adam Files, who has arrived on a season-long loan from the City Reds.
The others are Josh Crowley, Dale Bloomfield, Mark Hobson, Chris Tyrer, Liam Thompson, Sam Gee, Richard Lepori, Danny Samuel and new club captain Lewis Palfrey, aged 22.
The remaining four squad members, Danny Langtree, Steven Nield, Phil Joy and Kenny Hughes, have been promoted to the seniors with high expectations after starring for the past two seasons in a reserve team that twice reached a play-off grand final.
All of these, apart from the suspended Cookson and the injured Thompson, are expected to play on Sunday when they will be going flat out to impress their new boss and his second in command Lee Spencer.
Said Naylor: “Salford will seriously test us, both in quality and physicality. I saw the same City Reds squad beat Leigh last week. They’re young, quick and talented. 
“I’ll be interested to see how we go. We’ve had a great pre-season, but the picture only becomes clearer once you start playing.
“It was important for us to get a game under our belts before the Law Cup game at Rochdale. We play them three times before the end of March — in the Law Cup, the Northern Rail Cup and the league — and by then we’ll have a pretty good idea of how things are looking.”
Salford’s party will include half a dozen members of the senior squad who are not on Super League duty, including highly-rated Oldham-born half-back Mark Sneyd.
The other five are Aussie stand-off Connor Higgins, centre John Ford, full-back Jack Holmes, loose-forward Will Hope and prop Jordan Walne.
Like his fellow centre Edwin Okanga-Ajwang, Ford is an England international at Academy level.
The City slickers will be in the charge of the club’s under-20s coach Peter Carey, who has previously worked alongside Naylor and Spencer at The Willows.
“Scott was my coaching mentor. I owe him a lot and I’m looking forward to going head to head with him,” said Carey.
While Naylor’s main concern will be Oldham, he will also be keeping one eye on Salford’s younger players, given that Roughyeds can bring in up to five players from their partner club on dual registration, terms and conditions to hinge on mutual agreement of the clubs and their respective head coaches Naylor and Phil Veivers.
Admission to the game is £7 adults, £5 concessions and £3 under-16s, plus £2 transfer to seats.