Steven Nield

Date published: Monday, October 29, 2012
AFTER two seasons in the reserves Steven Nield has been elevated to Oldham RL Club’s senior squad and handed a one-year contract.
The 21-year-old full-back, top try scorer in the under-23s last season, becomes the fourth member of that side to be similarly rewarded, behind props Danny Langtree and Phil Joy and hooker Kenny Hughes.
Remarkably, Nield hasn’t missed a single game in his two seasons of reserve-team rugby, both ending in play-off grand final appearances.
Oldham-born Nield said: “I thought I might have been offered a contract a year ago, but on reflection my game has improved a lot since then and I’m all the better for a second season in the reserves.
“There will be a lot of new players and a new coaching staff so everybody will be starting from scratch.
“I’ve played the odd game at centre and on the wing, but I regard myself as a full-back. As a new boy to the first-team squad, however, I’ll be up against a lot of competition so my personal goal initially will be to get a spot anywhere in the 17, and keep it.”
Nield played at Saddleworth Rangers as a junior before signing for St Helens when he was 15. He was at Saints for four years before joining Roughyeds reserves in the hope of winning a pro contract.
He was a prolific points scorer last season, not only topping the try list, but succeeding Jamie Dallimore as reserve-team goalkicker and proving just as successful.
New head coach Scott Naylor believes passionately in the benefits of a successful youth policy in which players work their way up through the system.
He said: “Steven Nield is one of several young players who have done that, and I am looking forward to working with them.
“They will all benefit from a tough pre-season programme and more intensity in training. It’s a big step up, but we believe they can handle it. It’s up to them now.”
Nield has worked for Oldham Council’s Sport Development Service since leaving school at 16 and for the last two years he has combined that job with an RFL-funded appointment as community coach for Oldham and Tameside.