Oldham swoop for wingerDate published: Wednesday, September 9, 2015
OLDHAM have signed a young winger who, according to the York City Knights website, is one of the fastest players in English rugby league.
Leeds-born Jamel Chisholm (22) has signed a one-year contract with Roughyeds, covering the 2016 season, after catching Scott Naylor’s eye while playing on loan for London Skolars in Oldham’s 32-6 win at the New River Stadium in July.
Naylor, one of three nominees for the Kingston Press League One coach-of-the-year award, said this of the former Leeds Rhinos scholar and academy star:
“He’s the kind of player we are always looking for — a winger with huge potential, who has not had the break or the little bit of luck he deserves since he left Rhinos, but is keen to take up a new challenge with us at Whitebank.
“He’s an exciting prospect and I’m looking forward to bringing him into the club and working with him. He’s fast, strong and athletic, with a good attitude, and I’m sure he’s going to do well for us.”
He joined Rhinos on scholarship as a 15-year-old with Headingley Hawks and, a year later, signed pro forms for the Super League club where he spent five years playing academy rugby at under-18s and under-20s levels.
In 2012 he scored 27 tries in 18 academy games, but since Rhinos released him he’s been at Featherstone and York, who loaned him out first to Hemel Stags and then to London Skolars, without progressing as quickly as many thought he would.
Said Chisholm: “I’ve been unlucky with injuries, but I’m fully fit now and I’m hoping for an injury-free season at Oldham so I can get back to playing as well as I know I can.
“It’s a new challenge and I can’t wait to link up with Oldham for the start of pre-season training later in the year.”
When Naylor spotted Chisholm’s potential in London, chairman Chris Hamilton took up the case and opened talks, convincing the player that Oldham — and Naylor — would be good for him.
Said Chris: “Jamel admits he’s been treading water since leaving Leeds two years ago, but he’s got all the qualities you need in a winger — speed, strength, aggression —- and he’s keen to make a fresh start with us.
“Everything suggests that his best years are still in front of him.”
Other nominees for League One coach of the year alongside Naylor are John Duffy of Swinton Lions and James Ford of York City Knights.
Top-of-the-table Oldham beat Swinton home and away and, in their only clash with York, won 34-12 at Whitebank.
Roughyeds and Swinton also dominate nominations for League One player of the year, to be contested by Lewis Palfrey and George Tyson of Oldham and Richie Hawkyard and Andy Ackers of Swinton.
Winners will be announced at Monday’s annual Kingstone Press Championship and League One black-tie dinner in Manchester.
* Oldham are waiting for RFL clarification on matters relating to the promotion game at Whitebank on Sunday week, September 20, probably against Keighley Cougars, before announcing full details as soon as they are able to do so.