“Langers” signs new deal

Date published: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
THE Crowley-Langtree second-row double-act will again be a force for Oldham in the new, 14-club Kingstone Press League One.
Danny Langtree has followed the lead set by Josh Crowley in signing a new one-year contract with Roughyeds to cover the 2015 season — his fifth at Whitebank.
“I couldn’t be happier than I am at Oldham now, but it wasn’t always like that,” said Langtree (23), who revealed that he was ready to walk away and try his luck elsewhere before Scott Naylor’s arrival as head coach in the autumn of 2012.
“I had two good years in the reserves, both leading to end-of-season Grand Finals at that level, but with Tony Benson then in charge of the first team I wasn’t getting a look-in.
“I’ve nothing against Tony, but if he had stayed I would have gone because I couldn’t see a way forward as things were then.
“He left near the end of the 2012 season. His No 2, Martin Roden, stepped up in the short term and it was Martin who gave me and Phil Joy our senior debuts.
“Scott and ‘Spanner’ (assistant coach Lee Spencer) came in for the start of the 2013 campaign and a few of the lads who were in the reserves up to then have never looked back.”
Under Naylor’s tutelage, Langtree established himself at first-team level in 2013, missing only one game all season, and developed into a powerhouse of the pack in the season just ended with more tries than any other forward, 14, and numerous man-of-the-match performances.
Said Naylor: “In any team there are always players whose names are first to go down on the team sheet and along with Josh Crowley, ‘Langers’ is right up there in that category.
“He’s a quiet lad, but he does his talking on the field. He leads by example and the other lads look up to him. He is a natural leader.
“We are delighted he has signed a new deal because, without doubt, he and Josh have been our two most consistent players, week in and week out, over the last two years.
“Over the same period, he has improved gradually and taken his game to new levels.”
Talent scout John Jackson, who had worked for Oldham when Mike Ford was coach a decade earlier, brought the former St Helens Academy player to Whitebank as a 19-year-old to play in a reserve side then coached by John Hough.
In his four seasons at Whitebank he has played in four Grand Finals (two in the reserves and two in the first team), winning one and losing three.
The most recent loss to Hunslet Hawks at Headingley — 17-16 in extra time — hurt the most.
“We got so close without playing anything like we can play, and that was the most frustrating thing about the defeat,” said Langtree.
“I felt I had my worst game of the season. I’ve thought about it a lot and all I can come up with as a reason why is that I perhaps bottled it on the big stage.
“To put it out of my mind and to help me get over it, I went away for a few days’ holiday.
“I feel a lot better now and I’m starting to look forward to pre-season training and to getting stuck into what will be a very tough League One, much tougher than anything we’ve experienced in the last two years.”