Miles Greenwood joins Roughyeds

Date published: Thursday, January 5, 2012

PERSISTENCE, plus a ploy that has reaped rich dividends in the past, did the trick for Oldham in their efforts to “sell” Roughyeds to Miles Greenwood.

It took a lot of work behind the scenes to get the Greenwood signature on a contract covering the 2012 season.

Following Chris Hamilton’s initial talks with the player, the chairman and coach Tony Benson had two further meetings with him, including one on New Year’s Eve.

Three days later, on Tuesday night, the 24-year-old former Halifax full-back met the chairman for a fourth round of talks before signing the forms that tied him to his home-town club.

In so doing, he followed a route taken by his uncle, Emerson Jackman, 13 years ago.

A fans’ fund to be used exclusively to bring new players to Whitebank — Squad Strengthener — came into play for the first time.

But there was nothing new in the way Benson had played his ace card.

Confident in what he had to offer, and armed with the knowledge that it had often worked in the past, Benson had contacted Greenwood three weeks earlier to invite him to join Roughyeds at training in a series of taster sessions.

Said Miles: “Tony invited me down to train with the squad and to get a ‘feel’ of the place — to see if I was comfortable there and if I felt it might be the club for me.

“I liked what Tony was about. He’s keen and ambitious and he has a great bunch of lads there. That had a big bearing on my decision to sign.

“I also regarded the opportunity to play for my home town as a major honour. It’s a first for me, but I’ve got a buzz about it already. I want to do my town proud and help my town team to progress.”

Roughyeds train at Hopwood Hall College on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Greenwood, a lecturer, is on the sports staff there, so training with Oldham couldn’t be more convenient for him.

A cousin of former St Helens and England star Kyle Eastmond, he played for St Anne’s as a boy and, like his cousin, signed for Saints when he was 15. During his time at Knowsley Road, he had a spell on loan at Widnes, followed by a year at Leigh and then four seasons at Halifax.

Matt Calland had taken him to The Shay, but squad changes were inevitable following Calland’s departure and the arrival as coach of Karl Harrison.

“Halifax offered me another deal,” added Greenwood, “but I felt it was time to move on.

“Now I’m at Oldham I can’t wait for the season to start. All the lads are raring to go.

“After losing four finals in five years something has to give this year. There’s four going up and if we don’t get promoted this time we don’t deserve to. I think we will.”

Benson, meanwhile, has lauded Greenwood a “class act”, while dropping a gentle reminder that Chris Murphy and Tom Rigby will be out to make a “real fight” of the competition for the full-back’s jersey.

He added: “Both are looking good, but Miles’s capture is a fantastic signing.

“He’s unpredictable, he’ll pop up anywhere and he has loads of skill.

“Furthermore, he’s passionate about playing for his home town team and he has settled so well into the group that he appears to have been there for a long time.

“That’s always a good sign.”

Don’t forget that ORSA meet tonight (thurs) at Whitebank, starting at 8pm.