FIRST Dale Bloomfield, now Mark Hobson.
Oldham’s new boss Scott Naylor has raided the Hornets’ nest for a second time to continue his Roughyeds’ squad building at Rochdale’s expense.
Back-row forward Hobson (25) follows winger Bloomfield from Spotland to Whitebank after receiving a call from Naylor his former coach at Salford City Reds.
Naylor’s timing was impeccable.
Said Leigh-born Hobson: “I was talking to Rochdale about another deal, but after nearly four years there I was ready for a change. I knew Scott had taken over at Oldham and I was thinking about ringing him when, out of the blue, he contacted me.
“I know what Scott Naylor is about and the prospect of working for him again was a real pull.
“He was my coach in my senior academy days at Salford and he taught me a lot. I made a lot of progress in a very short time and that was due to his clinical approach to the game.
“You know where you stand with him. He’s a no-nonsense boss and he’s very good at identifying a player’s weaknesses and quickly putting them right.
“He will make sure there is a lot of competition for places. Everybody will be keen to impress. I can’t wait.”
Hobson signed for Salford from amateurs Leigh East as a 16-year-old and worked his way through the academy system at The Willows before going to Workington for a brief stay and then on to Rochdale.
He is now keen to make an impact at Oldham, having been convinced by first Naylor and then by chairman Chris Hamilton that the club is going places.
“Chris has big plans,” he added, “and I want to be part of it.”
Naylor, for his part, is delighted to have got his man.
He said of Hobson: “He lives and breathes the game and he has an outstanding attitude. He gives everything he’s got on and off the field — the sort of player a coach can rely on week in and week out.
“I am delighted he has decided to join us.”
Outside rugby, Hobson works on commercial sales for Volkswagen in Trafford Park. He lives in city-centre Manchester.
He is the club’s third new signing after Bloomfield and 21-year-old second-rower Josh Crowley from Widnes Vikings.
Naylor has still to appoint his No 2 and he expects to do it soon.