SCOTT Naylor leads Oldham into their fourth week of pre-season training tonight, having announced that his cafe near Leigh is up for sale so that he can concentrate exclusively on his job with the Roughyeds.
Naylor (44), the 2015 League One coach of the year, expects his fifth season as Roughyeds boss to be his biggest challenge yet.
After being out of the game for two years, he inherited a side that had finished seventh in tier three in 2012, leading Roughyeds to second and third-place finishes in 2013 and 2014 respectively before winning 19 out of 22 league games in 2015 to finish top — and win promotion.
He won 46 and drew two out of 58 third-tier league games over three seasons and then achieved his goal of winning enough Championship games — ten out of 30 — to avoid the bottom two and consolidate at the higher level.
It is widely believed that promoted clubs Rochdale Hornets and Toulouse Olympique (France), not to mention relegated Super League outfit Hull KR, will make the Championship an even tougher and more vibrant competition than last time.
Naylor told totalrl.com: “I’m trying to get rid of the cafe business so I can concentrate on my rugby. This was always the plan, but I didn’t expect to be doing it yet.
“Last season I found it difficult to do both at the same time. I did it in League One, but it was too hard in the Championship.
“Half the time I was walking around like a zombie and it meant I couldn’t give my best on the rugby side of things. But I can concentrate on it fully now.”