Saddleworth men lead Reserves team

Date published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011

PAUL Ashton, new coach of Oldham RL reserves, will have Phil Costin as his right-hand man and No 2 in a partnership of ex-Saddleworth Rangers men.

Costin (48), whose appointment was announced today, will combine his new role with his existing one as coach of the club’s under-18s Extended Scholarship squad.

As a fifth dan in ju-jitsu, a black belt in karate and one-time holder of five world titles in kick boxing, Costin’s presence at reserve team training sessions will ensure that everybody toes the line!

“He’ll bring a lot to the team,” said Ashton, “and his martial arts background will be invaluable on the physical fitness side.

“I’ve known Phil for years, and worked with him previously at Rangers.

“Not only is he a good coach and conditioner, but he’s a a lifelong Oldham fan. I’m looking forward to linking up with him again.”

Having previously coached Saddleworth ‘A’, Shaw Rhinos open-age and Saddleworth under-18s, Costin was head-hunted by Roughyeds a year ago when they wanted somebody to look after their new Scholarship squad.

“Phil excelled in his first job at a pro club,” said chairman Chris Hamilton, “and we are confident he’ll do a first-class job also as Ashy’s assistant coach.

“They will complement each other and both will be at the heart of our plan to bring up our own players and see them progress from under-18s via the reserves to the first-team.

“The aim is to have three teams using a similar game plan, calling the same moves and generally playing to one style

“With that in mind it will be invaluable to have Phil with a foot in two camps.

“It’s important that all our coaches are comfortable with the club’s ethos and in Tony Benson, Martin Roden, Paul Ashton and Phil Costin we have four who have all bought into it.”

Although the under-18s will play only six games that’s two more than last year, but the season this time will be shorter, running from April to July.

“I’ll be able to marry both jobs,” said Costin, “and that will be a big help in our aim to make sure that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.

“Ashy and I go back a long way. We know each other well.

“I’ll be there for him and I’ll give him as much help as I possibly can, but I will also be focused on the under-18s because I was in at the start with them and I regard them as ‘my’ team.

“The priority job is to prepare young players to be pushed up the ladder, but if we can win trophies along the way, as the reserves did last year, that’s a bonus.

“John Hough, last year’s coach, will be a hard act to follow, but Ashy and I are ready for the challenge — and confident we can deliver.”

The Supporters’ Association (ORSA) will meet at Whitebank tomorrow (thurs) night at 8pm. Only members can vote, but all fans are welcome and non-members can join on the night.