Josh rekindling his sporting dream.

Date published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013

JOSH Crowley, Oldham RL Club’s exciting young forward, has revealed that he owes Roughyeds a big thank-you for rescuing his broken career.

After two years at Warrington and three at Widnes he found himself on rugby league’s scrap heap when the Vikings released him.
His sporting dream shattered, he was “gutted” at the tender age of 20.
He took the considered decision to turn his back on rugby.
“It was over. I had quit. I never wanted to see a rugby ball again,” recalled Crowley after scoring a hat-trick of tries for Roughyeds in their 34-16 win over Gateshead Thunder in the Northern Rail Cup.
“Then I got a call out of the blue from Chris Hamilton (Roughyeds chairman) and he persuaded me to go over to Oldham and have a chat with them.
“Widnes’s decision to let me go devastated me because I felt I was on the verge of breaking through. I thought I was so close to making it.
“It was tough to take, but Chris and Scott (head coach Naylor) were full of enthusiasm and optimism and i agreed to give it one more go and to sign a one-year deal with Oldham to see how things worked out.”
He hasn’t looked back since.
After his Whitebank debut against a Salford select side in pre-season Naylor described him as “the best player on the field bar none.”
He played consistently well over the next three games in Oldham’s second-row and then walked off with the club’s official man-of-the-match award with his first three-try performance in senior rugby against the men from Tyneside.
He was more nervous about receiving his award and being required to say a few words to sponsors than he was about battling all afternoon with Gateshead’s big forwards.
“I’m not a very confident person,” he said. “It was an ordeal for me to walk into that room, but now I’ve done it once I wouldn’t mind doing it a few more times over the course of the season !
“I’m happy in my rugby again and for that I have to thank Oldham and their fans, the likes of whom I have never come across before.
“I have never played senior rugby before coming here and the fans who watched the under-20s at Widnes were only there because the first team would be playing afterwards.
“I know we don’t have thousands of fans, but the ones we have are absolutely amazing. Their non-stop vocal support really gets to us and inspires us. It’s always one of the biggest topics in the dressing room on match day.
“They can be our extra man, especially when the league matches kick in.
“Looking ahead to those, I just want to get as much game time as I can and to hopefully help Scott and the boys to win promotion.”
Crowley, now 21, spoke highly of his 22-year-old second-row partner Danny Langtree, who scored a brace of tries out on the right against Gateshead while Crowley was doing the business on the right.
He added: “When ‘Langers’ is going well, as he did early on against Gateshead, it makes me try even harder.
“As much as we want each other to do well there is a healthy competition for places and we are all conscious of that.
“Danny has been one of our best players so far and I’m sure he is going to have a great season.
“I need to keep up with him, at least, so I must continue to score tries.
“I’m big on footwork and all facets of attacking rugby and I like to get the ball early so I can pick my spot for driving into their defensive line.”
+ The Junction Inn, Ripponden Road, plans to lay on transport from that side of town  to the under-20s game against South Wales at Whitebank on Saturday (2.30pm kick off) and to the Northern Rail Cup game between the two clubs in Neath on Sunday (3pm).
Cost is £2.50 and £15 respectively and seats must be booked on 0161 633 2759 by 10pm on Thursday.