“Toughie” Jarrod joins Oldham

Date published: Thursday, October 16, 2014
OLDHAM Rugby League Club have made their first NEW signing for 2015, beating off competition from several rivals to bring utility back Jarrod Ward to Whitebank.
Local lad Ward (20), who has signed a one-year deal, has been reared by Super League and Championship clubs since he was 13, having been at Salford, Bradford Bulls and Halifax.
In the season just ended he played for Gloucester All Golds, while on loan from Halifax, and did enough as a strong-running winger to attract offers from EIGHT clubs for his services in 2015.
“He’s a tough lad,” said Roughyeds boss Scott Naylor. “He carries the ball tough; he plays the game tough; and he’s very professional in everything he does.
“His game has improved steadily over the last few years, but he’s still only 20 and I’m looking forward to working with him.
“He came through the ranks at Salford when he was very young and he already has a connection with ‘Spanner’ (Naylor’s No 2 Lee Spencer) from their days together at The Willows.”
Ward, who can play wing, centre or full-back, first played the game as a 13-year-old at Saddleworth Rangers and within six months he was scouted by Salford.
He played for Oldham’s town team at under-13s, under-14s and under-15s and was selected to go on regional and national development camps.
A spell at Oldham St Anne’s followed before he had three years in the Bradford Bulls academy and then joined Halifax.
While on loan at Gloucester last season he played twice against Oldham in the All Golds’ two defeats at Whitebank.
Speaking from the south of France, where he is working, Ward said: “I felt I had a good season. I was made up to get several offers for 2015, some of them from clubs in the Championship and some offering more money than Oldham.
“It helped that I knew ‘Spanner’, but I made up my mind about Oldham when the chairman (Chris Hamilton) drove over to Halifax, where I am living at the moment, and met me to tell me all about the club.
“He outlined objectives and ambitions and explained what a good record they have in producing and developing young players.
“I could have gone for more money elsewhere, but I was impressed by what the Oldham chairman said and I’m sure Whitebank is the right place for me at this stage of my career.”
Ward is spending the close season working on the maintenance and upkeep of a £65million villa on the French Riviera near Cannes, but he will be back in this area for the start of pre-season training in mid-November.