‘Whitty’ comes home

SCOTT Naylor has been true to his word in bringing Danny Whitmore “home” to Whitebank, this time as a fully-fledged Oldham player on a one-year contract.

Oldham-born Whitmore (24) hasn’t played since he broke an arm playing for Roughyeds last May while on a month’s loan from Batley Bulldogs.

The Oldham boss, who coached him at Salford, brought him in to partner Lewis Palfrey at half-back following an 18-16 home defeat by Tony Benson’s Oxford team of Roughyeds’ old boys.

Whitmore played his first game for Naylor in a 30-12 win at Hemel Stags on May 12, looking comfortable alongside Palfrey in a partnership that had worked well together when both players were in Salford’s academy.

Naylor said then that he wanted to re-open talks with Batley in the hope of keeping Whitmore on an open-ended loan agreement or even more permanently.

In the first few minutes of the next match against Gateshead Thunder on May 26, however, the former Waterhead junior was to suffer the serious arm injury that ended his season.

Now fully fit and looking forward to the start of pre-season training in November, Whitmore said: “I’m out of contract now at Batley so I’ve signed for Oldham on a one-year deal as a free agent.

“I had a few offers but I think of Oldham as home-from-home, having had three years at Whitebank under Tony Benson, and in any case I wanted to link up again with Lewis (Palfrey) and the other lads I know from Salford days as well as ‘Nobby’ (Naylor) and ‘Spanner’ (assistant coach Lee Spencer).”

Whitmore left Whitebank to join Championship club Batley at the end of last season before Naylor and Spencer were appointed to succeed Benson.

In his three seasons in Oldham colours he played in 57 games (ten tries), including the 25-4 Grand Final defeat by York City Knights when he was used as replacement hooker.

He added: “I’ve been out injured for four months, but I’m fully fit again now although I haven’t yet done any contact work.

“It seems ages since I handled a rugby ball. I can’t wait to get started again.”

He is the seventh player to commit to Roughyeds for 2014 behind Phil Joy, Danny Langtree, Sam Gee, Josh Crowley, Michael Ward and new-boy Paddy Mooney, a young prop from London Broncos.