McCully looking forward to pre-season

Date published: Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MARK McCully’s nine games in the Oldham jersey last season convinced him that Whitebank was the place to be in 2012.

The 31-year-old centre, who joined Roughyeds in June, has signed a new one-year deal in readiness for his first full season with the club.

“I can’t wait to start pre-season training,” said the much-travelled McCully.

[singlepic id=824 w=320 h=240 float=left]”It wasn’t ideal to join Oldham half way into the season, especially when I hadn’t played much for a few months.

“It took me a couple of games to get my match fitness right.

“And when Rochdale knocked us out of the play-offs, it was strange to have reached the end of the season because to me we were only half-way through it.

“The lads will be enjoying their break, but all I wanted to do was carry on playing.”

McCully started his pro career as a teenager with his hometown club St Helens and later played for Leigh, Chorley Lynx, Rochdale Hornets, Workington and Blackpool Panthers. He had four seasons at Rochdale between 2004 and 2007, followed by one year at Workington and two at Blackpool where, in total, he scored 19 tries in 49 appearances.

Looking ahead to next year, he said: “Hopefully, we will improve and win promotion to the Championship.

“I think we were all in a state of shock after our play-off defeat at Rochdale. We never expected to exit the play-offs so early, especially as we had beaten Hornets a couple of weeks earlier.

“We played poorly from the start. We wanted it, just as much as they did, but on the day Hornets were a little bit more enthusiastic than we were.”

Roughyeds boss Tony Benson said Oldham’s season would have been ‘very different” had McCully signed at the start instead of half-way through.

“I’m delighted to have him back for next year,” he added, “because he’s a strong attacker; he runs good lines; he’s reliable when attacking high balls; and he’s a good defender.”

Fans are reminded that tickets for the reserve team’s presentation night at Whitebank on Friday, £5 including hot supper, can be bought from the club’s office in Lansdowne Road, Chadderton (tel: 0161 628 3677).