DAVID Hewitt has repaid Oldham’s faith in him by leaving troubled Sheffield Eagles to sign a two-year contract at the club where he has had two separate spells on loan.
Aged 20 and the ‘baby’ of Scott Naylor’s new-look 2017 squad, half-back Hewitt is highly-rated by the Roughyeds boss, who will be looking to him to partner Scott Leatherbarrow at half-back and to inject pace and penetration in midfield.
Naylor and his staff expect the young half to grow up quickly now he’s a fully-fledged Oldham player operating alongside a seasoned Championship campaigner like Leatherbarrow.
Born in St Helens and a product of the Saints’ nursery, like Kenny Hughes and Danny Langtree, Hewitt scored five tries in six games while on loan here in the League 1 promotion year.
Released by Saints at the end of that season, he signed a full-time contract at Sheffield, but admits that “things didn’t work out” for him in South Yorkshire.
Coming back to Oldham on loan for a second time, he helped to keep Naylor’s men up by scoring four tries in nine games on the late-season run-in, thanks mainly to his speed and razor-sharp support pay.
Said Naylor: “David is going to make a big difference, especially in his kicking game, which is one of the best in the division. His speed when supporting a break is another big plus.
“Going forward from half-back is something we have to improve on massively.
“He’s young with all his career ahead of him. And when he’s had a full pre-season with us I think he’ll be brilliant.
“Now that he’s our player we’ll be able to spend as much time as we need with him and he’s going to benefit from that.
“People forget how young he is. Things didn’t work out for him at Sheffield, but they will here because we all think highly of him.”
Hewitt said he would always be grateful to Oldham for twice giving him a chance on loan at times when he was looking for openings to develop his career.
He added: “I was in the Sheffield side in the early part of the season, but then I was left out and it was tough.
“I’m looking forward now to settling down at Oldham and building on the 20 Championship games I’ve had so far, 11 for the Eagles and the rest for Oldham.
“I want to thank both clubs for giving me those opportunities when I’m still only 20.
“With the squad that Oldham are assembling I think we’ll do better than a lot of people think.
“Believe me, we’ll have a great season.”