CHRIS Hamilton and Scott Naylor have more immediate things on their minds — like a must-win relegation battle against Whitehaven at Bower Fold on Sunday — but signing players for next year can’t be placed on hold and Adam Clay is the latest member of the current squad to put pen to paper on a new deal.
In his two and a half seasons at Oldham, the 25-year-old winger has made the No 2 shirt his own and head coach Naylor was keen to keep it that way.
“He scores a lot of tries and he’s played in 95 per cent of all games since he came to the club in 2014, so that alone shows what we think of him,” said Naylor, whose squad for 2017 is steadily taking shape.
He said Clay was keen to sign a new contract and back himself in the knowledge that competition for back-field places would be stronger next year.
“We’ll have some quality and Adam will be part of it,” added Naylor, who is working hard hard in tandem with his chairman to get the bulk of next year’s squad in place as quickly s possible.
He said he was also buoyed by new-boy Scott Turner’s decision to sign up for 2017, having joined initially early last month on a short-term agreement to the end of this season.
Said Naylor: “He’s a player I had been watching closely for two years. It was good to get him here for a short time, but to sign him up for next year is even better.
“He’s a young player with a lot of quality, but he’s also keen to learn, improve and get even better.”
Of the nine players already announced as having committed to another year — no new faces yet — five are backs: Jamel Chisholm, Danny Grimshaw, Turner, Clay and Kieran Gill, who will be on season-long loan from Castleford Tigers.
The four forwards are Phil Joy, Jack Spencer, Michael Ward and Danny Langtree, whose current agreement has another year to run.
Preparations for Sunday’s big game continue at training tonight when the medical staff will again go to work on forwards Danny Langtree (shin) and Liam Thompson (shoulder) in the hope that both will be fit in time.
Centre Danny Grimshaw, out for five weeks with a groin injury, will also be assessed.
Sammy Gee won’t play again this season because of ankle ligament damage, but specialists have told him he doesn’t need surgery and he should be fit to resume training in four to six weeks.
* Hospitality suite places are available at the Whitehaven game. Cost, including pre-game buffet, main-stand seat and pre and post-match interviews and presentations, is £25 or £10 for season-ticket holders. Ring 07904898177 to book.
* Club merchandise will be on sale at half-price from 2pm to kick-off at the hut close to the Bower Fold social club inside the ground.