Naylor swoops for young Bronco

Date published: Thursday, September 26, 2013

OLDHAM have beaten off competition from play-off final rivals Rochdale Hornets to sign a highly-rated young prop from London Broncos.

Born and raised in leafy Berkshire, but of Irish descent, 19-year-old Paddy Mooney has agreed a one-year deal with the Roughyeds, having recently moved to this area to study for an economics degree at Manchester University.

He played rugby union from the age of five to 15 when he signed for Super League club London Broncos, having also played rugby league for Staines Titans for the previous three years.

He played a few games on loan to Hemel Stags in 2011 and returned to The Stoop to captain a successful Broncos under-19s team last year.

He comes to Whitebank on the recommendation of one of the Broncos conditioners, Mike Eccles, who used to work for Salford City Reds, as it was then, where he operated alongside current Oldham boss Scott Naylor and his No 2 Lee Spencer.

Said Naylor: “Mike has worked with the boy for two years. He speaks highly of him and believes he will come on in leaps and bounds at Oldham.

“I watched footage of him, did my homework and got lots of positive feedback from a few different people.

“He appears to be the sort of lad who will fit in nicely with the squad we are building for next year. I am looking forward to working with him.”

Mooney, who comes from a similar rugby background to former Oldham forward Jamie Acton, will be studying at the university for three years, starting off living in halls of residence in Fallowfield.

He said: “I’ll have no trouble combining studies with rugby.

“It will be a new challenge for me no matter which division Oldham will be playing in. I can’t wait. I’m already counting the weeks to the start of pre-season training.”

He becomes the sixth player to commit to Roughyeds for 2014, alongside five existing forwards who have signed new one-year deals, Phil Joy, Danny Langtree, Sam Gee, Josh Crowley and Michael Ward.