Nield vows to fight for a place

Date published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FAR from being disheartened by his limited first-team opportunities last season, utility back Steve Nield has vowed to continue his pursuit of a more regular spot in the Roughyeds’ line-up.

The 22-year-old, once of Saddleworth Rangers and St Helens academy, spent two seasons in Oldham’s reserve team before winning his first senior contract a year ago alongside his fellow second-teamers Danny Langtree, Phil Joy and Kenny Hughes.

He was an outstanding player at second-team level, scoring tries galore, kicking goals and starring whether he played at full-back, centre or wing.

While the others became regular members of Scott Naylor’s first 17, however, Nield found it difficult to shift Richard Lepori from full-back, Mo Agoro and Dale Bloomfield from the wings and David Cookson and Jon Ford from the centre spots.

Naylor believes he still has plenty to offer, however, and had no hesitation in offering him a new one-year deal and another year in which to make his mark.

Nield, who works full time for Oldham Council as a multi-sport coach in schools, was equally keen to re-sign and take up the challenge.

He said: “I didn’t get as many games as I had hoped, but as a member of the senior squad all last season I realise what I need to do to improve my game and hopefully get a place in the team to call my own.

“Despite my limited opportunities it was great fun being part of that squad. We worked hard in a fantastic environment. You’ve got to credit the coaches for that.

“All the boys loved being part of it and that’s why so many of them have re-signed, in some instances having rejected approaches from other clubs.

“They are determined to make amends for grand-final disappointment.

“Full-back is my favourite position, but I would be happy to play anywhere to get into the side.”

Said chairman Chris Hamilton: “Steve has been with us for a few years. He is fully committed to the club and he is an important and valued member of the squad.

“He’s the type of lad who recognises he has improvements to make to his game and who will work hard to make those improvements. Nothing will detract him from that.

“Scott was keen to keep him and we were delighted that he was just as keen to stay.”