AS part of his plan to become a Super League player with Castleford Tigers, young centre Kieran Gill has agreed a new season-long loan deal to stay at Oldham in 2017.
The 20-year-old, whose full-time contract with hometown club Cas has another 12 months to run, has scored five tries in nine games for Roughyeds since arriving in late June on an initial loan agreement to the end of this season, with an option for next year.
Oldham regard this season-long Gill agreement as another key element of the work going on behind the scenes to build a squad that will have the basics to do well in what everyone at the club believes will be a second year of Championship rugby.
“On recruitment, we’re slightly ahead of where we were this time last year, but there’s a lot of hard work to do yet,” said chairman Chris Hamilton.
Gill is the latest addition to the 2017 roster which so far numbers Danny Langtree, Phil Joy, Jack Spencer, Michael Ward, Jamel Chisholm and Danny Grimshaw.
Tigers were happy for Gill to continue his development in the care of Scott Naylor, Lee Spencer and Peter Carey, who was his coach when Gill was in the academy at Salford Red Devils.
“It suits me fine as well,” said Gill, who has supported Cas since he was a boy, but is too old now to play for their under-19s.
He added: “I’ve a lot of respect for Scott and the coaching staff at Oldham, who have already taught me a lot. Staying around for a full season, I will learn a lot more.
“It’s no secret that I’d love to play for Cas in Super League and I’m sure that another year at Oldham will stand me in good stead.
“I’m just glad it’s all sorted out. For that I have to thank Chris (Hamilton), the club chairman, who has done all the loan stuff with Cas.
“I’m loving my time at Oldham. I train full time at Cas but when I’m over in Oldham it’s like home from home. I’ve bonded well and it’s one of the best squads I’ve ever been associated with.
“Our last two results haven’t been good, but the fans stick with us through thick and thin and we love it when we can put smiles on their faces.
“Before the season is over I’m sure we’ll dig deep and make supporters proud again. It’s all about staying in the Championship and we’re confident we can do it and make people happy.
“I had a spell on loan with Oxford in League One, but it was a natural progression to get into the Championship and I was keen to take on the challenge. Cas wanted it for me as well. That’s how I came to be at Oldham in the first place.”
Having been at Cas as a junior, he was spotted by Salford playing for Yorkshire under-17s. After 18 months at Salford, he was lured back to his hometown club and it’s there that he hopes to become a Super League star one day . . . with Oldham’s help.