Paul Noone stays with Roughyeds

Date published: Friday, October 28, 2011

PAUL Noone, Oldham RL Club’s top player last season, is staying with Roughyeds in 2012.

He has turned down rival bids, and ended speculation about his future, by signing a new one-year contract which will enable him to play a lead role in Oldham’s bid to climb out of Championship One at the sixth attempt.

Last season, his first at Whitebank, he was the only player to figure in each of the Roughyeds’ 27 cup and league games, while he was also chosen by coach Tony Benson as the club’s player of the year.

[singlepic id=510 w=320 h=240 float=left]Championship outfits Sheffield Eagles and Hunslet Hawks, in a division higher than Oldham, are believed to be among the clubs which had approached the 30-year-old former Warrington Wolves, Widnes Vikings and Barrow Raiders second-row forward.

“It didn’t surprise us to discover he was a target for others because he has set the benchmark for professionalism within our team,” said Benson.

“He is a major influence, in the dressing room, in training and on game day, and he is particularly supportive of younger players.

“He played at the top level for years and, having enjoyed that, he is keen to see up-and-coming kids fulfilling their potential and going as far as they can. He offers a lot to our youngsters.

“He’s still one of the fittest players in the club. It’s rare for him to be ‘spelled’. He’ll go 80 minutes without even thinking about it and that’s because he keeps himself in fantastic shape.

“We are absolutely delighted that Paul will be with us again in 2012.”

Noone played 119 Super League games for Warrington and more than 100 other games, in total, for Widnes and Barrow before signing for Oldham last January.

On attempts to prise him from Whitebank, he said: “A few clubs sounded me out, but Oldham will do me fine. I like it here, it’s a good club and I was made up when I won the coach’s player-of-the-year award. It was a ‘first’ for me in a long career and it meant a lot.”

On team targets: “Four teams are to be promoted, but our goal must be to win the division. We are capable of that.”

On his own future: “Age matters not, it’s how you feel. I feel young and fit. I’m aiming for another three or four years in the game.”

On the club’s prospects: “I have a lot of time for Tony (Benson) whom I expect to coach us to better things in 2012.

“That apart, the club is now secure at Whitebank long term, while John Hough is doing terrific work with the reserves.

“The stage is set for the club to move forward. It will take a year or two, but if we can win promotion next time we can then consolidate and work towards going from strength to strength over the next few years.”