Pre-season meeting

Date published: Monday, November 5, 2012
THERE will be handshakes all round at Whitebank tomorrow (Tues) night when the men who will carry Oldham Rugby League Club’s promotion hopes into the 2013 Championship One campaign will meet up for the first time for preliminary talks about the challenges that lie ahead.
Of the 17 players known so far to be contracted to the Roughyeds for next season, there are seven new boys and four young players who have been promoted to the first-team squad from the reserves.
The “welcome to Whitebank” message will also be extended by club chairman Chris Hamilton to the new coaching double-act of Scott Naylor and his assistant Lee Spencer.
Naylor will then speak to the players, many of whom he will be meeting for the first time, about what he expects of them in his first season as head coach after learning his trade on the coaching staff at Super League club Salford City Reds.
Pre-season training is due to start next Tuesday, November 13.
Said chairman Hamilton: “We are looking to create a certain mindset within the squad in terms of application, determination and commitment — that has been to the forefront of all our discussions on player recruitment.
“By the time we have finished we will have a squad of 24 or 25, perhaps with scope for topping up with season-long loans, and the right mix of experience and youth with everyone pushing each other for places in the team.
“The pre-season programme starts soon and it’s importance can’t be overstated because it sets the pattern for the season in terms of conditioning, camaraderie, team spirit and many other factors.
“As I’ve said before, we are also well down the road towards forming a partnership with a Super League club, but that’s all I can say on that at this stage.”
The squad is shaping up like this:
New to the club: Josh Crowley, Dale Bloomfield, Mark Hobson, Chris Tyrer, Liam Thompson, Sam Gee, Mo Agoro.
Promoted from the reserves: Danny Langtree, Phil Joy, Kenny Hughes, Steven Nield.
Re-signed on new deals: Jamie Dallimore, Liam Gilchrist, Chris Murphy, Jason Boults, Michael Ward.
Half-way through a two-year deal: Neil Roden.