SCOTT Naylor has called on the rugby league people of Oldham to get behind the “new broom” at Whitebank.
He’s here on a two-year contract as head coach with a mission to win promotion in year one and to consolidate in the Championship in year two.
That’s easier said than done.
Roughyeds have spent six seasons in the sport’s third tier, during which time both Steve Deakin and Tony Benson have lost their jobs because they failed to deliver the ultimate prize — promotion.
Now it’s Naylor’s turn, in his first job as man in charge.
After a playing career filled with trophies and medals at the top level, he climbed through the coaching ranks in a Super League environment at Salford City Reds, waiting for an opportunity to land a job as boss.
Now he’s got it he’s bristling with enthusiasm.
“It’s on my head now,” he said, “and I’m looking forward to pressure and challenge. What’s more, I firmly believe this is the season Oldham can get out of this division.
“It’s high time the club was in the Championship, that’s the least the club and its supporters deserve.
“But we need the fans to back us with everyone pulling in the same direction.
“I want the boys to enjoy their rugby and they’ll enjoy it a whole lot more if they are winning and playing in front of good crowds.”
Of the 19 players whose signings have been announced so far there are nine new signings and only five players who were first-team regulars last season.
With a brand-new coaching staff too, the “broom” has been busy.
Pre-season training starts next week and it will coincide with 2013 season tickets going on sale.
Added Naylor: “All clubs rely heavily at this time of year on income from season-ticket sales. Times are tough, but I hope supporters give serious consideration to backing the club this way.
“In return I can give an assurance that the players will give everything they have to give on every play of every game.
“I have never coached a half-hearted team and I don’t intend to start now.
“I told the players when we met the other night that I’m not here for myself. I’m here to make a difference, and that’s what I intend to do.
“Each of the players was there because I wanted him there.
“A lot of time and effort has gone into our recruitment. We did our homework. We handpicked these players because we believe in them.
“They now have three months of pre-season to show me why they should be in the 17 on the day of the first game.
“As a coach, two words matter to me a lot —- ‘respect’ and ‘honesty’.
“Fans can rest assured that we will be working at all times to those principles.
“I’m looking forward to next Tuesday, and the start of training, as much as I did when I was a young pro just starting out.
“It could be the start of something big.”