Morley drops in to lend a handDate published: Friday, August 7, 2015
ADRIAN Morley, once the best rugby league forward in the world, was at Oldham’s training session last night to give the League One leaders the benefit of his vast experience.
Accepting Scott Naylor’s invitation, the Salford and former Leeds, Sydney Roosters, Warrington and Great Britain star dropped in to watch Roughyeds at work in the Oasis Academy gym and then on the sports field.
Now 38, and with his glittering playing career ebbing to its close, Morley is still one of the biggest names in the sport.
Said Naylor: “It was good for the boys to see one of the all-time greats taking an interest in what they were doing.
“He was there to gave us his opinions on what we were doing and to suggest where we might make improvements.
“He was impressed with much of what he saw, especially the attitude of the players towards their training and their obvious enthusiasm.
“It was beneficial to get an up-to-date view from somebody who is still actively involved in Super League and who was prepared to give up his time to come and join us.”
There was better news on injury victims Adam Clay (broken ribs) and Jack Holmes (strained foot), who felt much improved from early in the week.
They will miss the next two games at Hemel Stags on Sunday (2.30) and at Newcastle Thunder the following Sunday, but they will then be reassessed.
That leaves the Roughyeds boss with 21 players to select from for the trip to Hertfordshire, including new boys Will Hope and Elliott Liku, who are still waiting for their debuts.
Also ready to make a long-awaited comeback is centre Tom Ashton, who has been out for three months with knee ligament damage.
Naylor will have to juggle his squad to find two replacement wingers, but he has various options, given that Jon Ford has played on the wing previously for Oldham and Richard Lepori has also played there for both Oldham and Italy.
The 17 will come from these: Roper, Palfrey, Hewitt, Tyson, Dempsey, Ford, Ashton, Lepori (backs); Crowley, Langtree, Hughes, Ward, P Joy, R Joy, Files, Gee, Thompson, Neal, Owen, Liku, Hope.
Having opened up a four-point lead at the top of the table, Oldham know that every other team in the division will be gunning for them.
Said Naylor: “Everybody we play will raise their game. We are the team to beat.
“We are one poor performance away from everything going wrong, so its up to us to make sure we’re on our game right from the start.
“Hemel would love to be the team to halt us, just like Newcastle the week after and everybody else after that.
“We have to be 100 per cent focused, totally professional and determined to maintain the standards we have set ourselves over the last eight games.
“The pressure is on us to keep on performing and to keep on winning.”