TEENAGER Jake Bibby hopes his loan spell with Oldham will be a stepping stone to a regular spot in Salford’s Super League side.
A Wigan lad, the up-and-coming centre doesn’t leave his teenage years behind until the summer so he becomes the ‘baby’ of the Roughyeds’ outfit, giving ‘senior citizen’ Danny Grimshaw a good ten years.
A full-time pro and a member of the Red Devils’ senior squad, Bibby is contracted to the end of the 2017 season.
He’s here initially for one month so he’ll want to hit the ground running, starting with Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship game against Dewsbury Rams at Bower Fold (3pm).
He trains with his new team mates for the first time tonight, but if Scott Naylor sticks with his usual routine, the new boy won’t know until Saturday whether he will be making his debut against the Rams.
He has played second-row and on the wing, but his preferred position is centre where he has played, in the main, since he joined Salford as a 15-year-old from Wigan amateurs Orrell St James.
It would appear then that Naylor will be picking his wingers and centres from the four who played at Leigh, Adam Clay, Tom Ashton, Jack Holmes and Jamel Chisholm, plus Jon Ford and Bibby.
The new boy said: “I’m on the edge of the first team at Salford and waiting for my chance, but I need game time and that’s why I’ve come out on loan to Oldham.
“Ian Watson (coach) was happy for me to join Oldham — a good club, he said, where I would be well looked after.
“I get cracking with Oldham tonight and I’m looking forward to meeting the boys and making a start.
“My aim is to ‘make it’ with Salford, but nearly all my rugby so far has been for under-19s or under-20s so the experience of playing for Oldham in the Championship should stand me in good stead. I’m looking forward to it.”
He has played one first-team game for Salford, against Hull KR at the end of last season.
He played for three Wigan amateur clubs, St Cuthbert’s, St Jude’s and Orrell St James before signing for Salford where, for a time, he was coached by Peter Carey, now one of Scott Naylor’s two assistants.
Martin Gleeson was his under-19s coach last season when he did enough to be promoted to the first-team squad in mid-term on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
+ Fans wishing to use club transport to go to Bower Fold on Sunday, leaving Whitebank at 1.45pm (£1.50 return), need to book in advance on 07904 898177.