Thanks for the memory “Boultsy”

Date published: Tuesday, December 9, 2014
OLDHAM Rugby League Club have paid tribute to the loyalty and long service of Jason Boults, who has been released after eight seasons with the Roughyeds.
Prop-forward Boults (31) played 193 games for Oldham in cup and league after signing from Halifax, his home-town club, for the start of the 2007 season.
He played for three head coaches — Steve Deakin, Tony Benson and Scott Naylor — and appeared in four of the club’s six third-tier Grand Finals during his time at the club,
Naylor, his team boss for the last two years, said his decision not to offer the Yorkshireman a new deal was one of the toughest he has had to make as Oldham’s head coach.
“Eight seasons with one club in the modern game is pretty special,” said Naylor. “It shows great loyalty and commitment. Most of his time here was spent before I arrived at the club, but I’ve seen enough of him in the last two seasons to appreciate why he has been such a popular guy among both players and supporters.
“A coach sometimes has to make extremely tough decisions and this was certainly up there among the toughest.
“We decided to have a smaller squad in 2015 and as I had a surplus of forwards several of them were released, not only ‘Boultsy’ but others such as Ben Wood, Danny Whitmore, Paddy Mooney and Mark Hobson.
“Neil Roden’s retirement last year and the departure this time of ‘Boultsy’ and ‘Hobbo’ (Hobson) has brought down the average age of the squad to 23.
“Age is just one of many factors to be seriously considered in these matters, but the club massively appreciates everything ‘Boultsy’ has done for the club over such a long time and it goes without saying that we wish him, and all the others who have left us, every good wish for the future.”
It is understood that over the course of last season Boults sometimes struggled to marry the demands of his full-time employment in Bradford with the club’s requirements for players to train three times a week.
The former Bradford Bulls and Halifax forward’s best seasons were in 2010, 2011 and 2012, all of them with Benson in charge, when he played in 77 of the club’s 81 games over that three- year period.
In the 17 years since the ‘new’ Oldham club was formed, only half-back Roden and hooker John Hough, who both went on to coach the Roughyeds’ second team, spent more seasons with the club and played in more games than the ever-reliable Boults, a model of consistency and totally unflappable.