Naylor looking to strengthen

Date published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014
WITH only nine games left before the play-offs — five of them away —- Scott Naylor is looking to bolster his Oldham RL squad with at least one addition.
He has an abundance of forwards, but a shortage of backs following Tom Whitehead’s departure and the return to Salford of dual-registered Edwin Okanga-Ajwang so that the Super League club’s medical department can help him to recover from an ankle injury.
Hooker Adam Files, a long-term injury victim, was due to see his consultant today amid growing fears that he will be out for the season.
“That’s the verdict I’m expecting — it looks like serious knee ligament damage,” said the 21-year-old former Salford youngster.
He had a highly-impressive first season at Whitebank while on long-term loan from Salford and his subsequent capture as a fully-fledged Oldham player was hailed as a major coup.
This season was still in its infancy, however, when Files went down injured during a training session in what has become a major setback for club and player.
Naylor still has 15 forwards out of a squad of 23, but only eight backs in Steven Nield, Mo Agoro, David Cookson, Jon Ford, Dale Bloomfield and his half-back trio of Lewis Palfrey, Brett Robinson and Steve Roper.
Of those eight — and a minimum of seven are required for every game — centre Ford (dual reg) and half-back Roper (long-term loan) can be recalled by Salford and Rochdale respectively at any given time.
Said Naylor: “I’m well off with six props, three hookers and six back-row men, but it’s a different situation entirely with the backs and one I hope to address with a new signing.
“I’m looking to bring somebody in, but there is nothing imminent.
“I’m keeping my eyes and ears open and waiting for the phone to ring. Our loan spots are full so it will have to be somebody who isn’t happy at a club or who has been released.”
Currently on long-term loan at Whitebank are Alex Davidson and George Tyson from Salford, Nathan Mason from Huddersfield and Roper.
* Scott Giles, the South Wales Scorpions prop who was seriously injured at Whitebank on Sunday, is back home in Wales.
The game was held up for ten minutes until he was carried off and taken by ambulance to Hope Hospital, Salford.
He had suffered severe concussion and sprained ligaments in his neck, but he was discharged from hospital late on Sunday night and driven home by his parents.