Now Clay joins class of 2015

Date published: Tuesday, November 25, 2014
ADAM Clay says the new Kingstone Press League One will bring out the best next season in the squad currently being assembled at Whitebank.
And he has labelled the new, three-year deal for coach Scott Naylor as a “massive positive” for both the Oldham club and its players.
Clay (24), Barrow’s top try scorer with 12 in 27 outings for the Championship club in 2013, has signed a new one-year contract at Oldham after arriving at the club last July and playing on the wing in the last nine games of the season.
Looking ahead to his first full season at Whitebank, Clay said the restructured League One, with 14 teams, will make the sports’s third tier bigger, better, more challenging and hugely competitive from top to bottom.
“As a player, that’s what you want,” he added. “It’s going to be a cracking division, not only because five strong teams are coming down from the Championship but because the others are getting better with each passing season.
“Of those, Gateshead Thunder have the potential to be a real threat and they have made no secret of their intention to take the fast track to Super League.
“With Scott in charge, we’ll relish this sort of tough challenge, which will bring out the best in us when we are being tested fully every week.”
Clay didn’t miss a game after making his debut at York on July 20 and he scored four tries in nine outings despite playing with a ruptured ligament in his right ankle.
An injection had little affect so he may need minor keyhole surgery if he is to be 100 per cent fit by the start of the season.
“That’s the target,” he said. “It’s nothing serious, perhaps taking a couple of weeks out of my pre-season, but I just want to get fully fit so that I can show everyone my true self.
“I’m hoping there’ll be a cancellation on the surgeon’s appointments list so that I can get it done sooner rather than later.
“In the meantime I’ll carry on as I did last season, getting regular rehab under the guidance of the club physios.”
Naylor can’t wait to see Clay fully operational and working on full throttle.
Said the Roughyeds’ boss: “I signed him for Salford a few years ago so he and I go back a long time. We knew all about his ankle injury when we signed him, but we also knew that he could and would play on it, albeit it at 70 per cent.
“He should be 100 per cent by the start of the next season and having seen him play at 70 per cent I’m looking forward to seeing him go flat out.
“He carries the ball well and gets us on the front foot on his kick returns. He has played at a higher level and we are lucky to have him playing for us.
“Despite his background in Championship rugby, he knows there are areas in which he can improve his game and I have to say he is very willing to learn.”