Liam Gilchrist

Date published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
PROP Liam Gilchrist has re-signed for another season at Oldham in the hope that Scott Naylor can make an immediate impact.
Roughyeds have had six seasons in the sport’s third tier — two under Steve Deakin, now on the staff at Catalan Dragons, and four with Tony Benson as boss.
They were ‘nearly men’ on the promotion trail when beaten in four play-off finals in a row — two each for Deakin and Benson — but they failed to make a serious bid in 2011 and 2012.
New boss Naylor’s challenge in year one is to succeed where Deakin and Benson failed and to win promotion from a revamped nine-club division which will include new boys Hemel Stags, Gloucestershire All Golds and Benson’s Oxford.
Said Gilchrist: “We’ve had two up-and-down seasons, this last one mainly due to injuries.
“But, come what may, we’ve got to win promotion in 2013. It has to be THE year.”
He is the third member of Benson’s 2012 first-team squad to sign a new contract, after Jamie Dallimore and Danny Langtree.
He added: “It will be interesting to see what sort of a squad the new boss can put together, but early indications look good going off the signings that have been already announced.
“On a personal note, the heavy grounds of early season don’t suit me. I go better as grounds become firmer, so it will be up to me to carry on on where I left off and to cope with wet conditions in the Northern Rail Cup so as to make an early impression on the new boss.”
It will be 23-year-old Gilchrist’s third season at Oldham, and he hopes it will be his best of the three.
He went on: “I’m still a student, but I need to get a full-time job so I’m speeding things up in that direction.
“At rugby, I’m striving to improve year on year and after two full seasons at Oldham I need to kick on.”
He has a degree in art and design from UCLAN at Preston. He is half way through a masters in the same disciplines at Salford University, but he has temporarily put that on hold while he studies at Edge Hill University for a teacher-training degree in applied art.
“I can complete my masters at a later date. My immediate goals are to qualify as an art teacher, get a job — and have a big third season with Oldham.”