New-look Squad

Date published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012

THE squad that Scott Naylor is assembling at Whitebank for a promotion push in 2013 will be unrecognisable from Tony Benson’s Oldham that finished sixth out of ten last season with only seven wins from 18 games.

Naylor has brought in ten players from other clubs — double the number from the 2012 squad whom he has re-signed on new contracts.
Neil Roden is half way through a two-year deal, but the only other regular members of last season’s first team to figure in Naylor’s plans so far are Jamie Dallimore, Liam Gilchrist, Jason Boults, Michael Ward and David Cookson.
His ten new boys are Josh Crowley and Liam Thompson from Widnes, Dale Bloomfield and Mark Hobson from Rochdale, Chris Tyrer from North Wales Crusaders, Sam Gee from Whitehaven, Mo Agoro from Leeds Rhinos, Lewis Palfrey from Batley, Callum Marriott and Adam Files from Salford, the latter on a season-long loan.
His other five contracted players — Danny Langtree, Phil Joy, Chris Murphy, Kenny Hughes and Steven Nield — played mainly in the reserves last season and had little input to the disappointing Championship One campaign.
As new players have arrived, the old guard have departed.
Latest to go are Luke Stenchion to York City Knights and Valu Bentley and David Ellison, who have followed their former Oldham boss Benson to new club Oxford.
The unlucky Stenchion, restricted by injury to 20 games in two seasons at Oldham, has also linked up with a former boss at York, now coached by Gary Thornton, who first signed him for Batley in 2005 when the prop left Leeds Rhinos academy.
He has moved to the Championship club, whose Super League partners are Hull FC, on a pay-as-you-play arrangement with a view to earning a contract as the season unfolds.
Bentley and Ellison are reported to be Oxford’s first signings, but several more of their former Whitebank team mates are thought to be considering similar moves down the M40, among them John Clough, Alex Thompson, Chris Clarke and Martin Roden.
Miles Greenwood and Danny Whitmore have gone to Batley Bulldogs, while Jamie Acton has moved to Workington Town.