Naylor nails Tyson in another coup

Date published: Tuesday, November 18, 2014
SCOTT Naylor was delighted last night to acquire the signature of a young forward whom many Oldham fans have likened to a young Andy Goodway.
“Andy who ?” queried George Tyson, of the former Oldham, Wigan and Great Britain second-row star, who was inducted into the original Oldham club’s Hall of Fame in 1995 while Tyson was still a toddler.
Now 21, and a fans’ favourite at Whitebank after his tearaway displays while on loan last season from Salford Red Devils, Tyson put pen to paper on a one-year contract that makes him a fully-fledged Oldham player.
In so doing, he left four rival clubs disappointed.
And he surprised many Roughyeds’ fans, who were resigned to losing him when he became free to talk terms with anybody on the open market following the decision of his Super League employers to let him go.
“He’s our player now and that means we can do a lot more with him and spend a lot more time with him,” said Oldham boss Naylor.
“Last season, as a full-time pro on loan to a part-time club, he didn’t train with us on Tuesday nights when we reviewed the previous game and did important analysis and reviews on video.
“All that changes now and it will make a massive difference to him.
“It was a bonus to get him on loan, as proven when he quickly became a fans’ favourite. Big breaks and big hits were his trademark and fans loved to see him tracking back and pulling off try-saving tackles.
“They liked his natural aggression too. Before he came we were a little bit short of aggression, but he provided the mongrel which we needed.
“He’s a willing lad and very driven.”
Once a soccer-mad Manchester United junior, Tyson didn’t pick up a rugby ball until he was 16 when his pals took him along to Leigh Miners.
Within weeks, he was scouted by Salford where he became a full-time pro when he was 18 and ultimately joined the first-team squad, although he played only once at that level in a runaway Challenge Cup win at Gloucester All Golds in 2013.
Despite going from full-time pro to part-time pro he hasn’t given up hope of one day climbing the ladder again.
Said Tyson: “I’m looking for a job. To be working and playing rugby league will be a whole new experience for me, but one I’m looking forward to.
“Long term, I want to go as far as I can in the game. To do that, I know I’ve got to knuckle down and get my head around it, which is what I intend to do.
“Other clubs were interested, but to sign for Oldham was an easy decision to make because I already felt part of the club after my loan spell last season.
“The crack with the lads was great and I liked working for Scott (Naylor). The supporters were superb too. They also played a part in my decision.
“It’s going to be a very tough league next season, but we have a good coach and a lot of good players and I think we’ll do well.
“I’m not fussed where I play — forwards or backs — just as long as I’m on the field to get stuck in and give it my best shot at all times.”
Little more than six weeks after suffering Grand Final torment in a 17-16 extra-time defeat by Hunslet, Roughyeds return to pre-season training tonight at Oasis Academy Oldham on Hollins Road.