OLDHAM have signed 19-year-old Wakefield Trinity full-back Luke Hooley on loan to the end of the season and they hope more additions will join him before Friday’s deadline.
“The phone is red hot,” said club chairman Chris Hamilton. “There’s not a lot out there, but we are working hard on it and trying to bring in both loan players and permanent signings.”
Dewsbury-born Hooley is a highly-rated goalkicking full-back. He played at community club Dewsbury Moor until he was 16 when he joined Bradford Bulls on scholarship. When Bulls liquidated early this year Wakefield quickly snapped him up as a free agent and he starred in their under-19s.
In March, the then 18-year-old signed a two-and-a-half year full-time contract with Trinity with the option of a further year.
He has since played six games on loan to Dewsbury Rams, including wins against Batley, Bradford, Oldham at Bower Fold recently, and Toulouse.
Added Hamilton: “He’s highly thought of at Wakefield and he’s had Championship experience with Dewsbury.
“We’re trying to add to the squad with players in different positions and, having lost Richard Lepori and Scott Turner, we needed cover at full-back.
“He’s quick and we’re looking forward to having him in the squad.”
An injury-depleted side went down 42-28 against Sheffield at Wakefield, but other results went their way at the lower end of the Championship table.
Bradford, Swinton and Rochdale also lost, but Dewsbury won at Swinton to climb to eighth place and push Rochdale down to ninth.
Roughyeds remain at 10th, with Swinton and Bradford continuing to occupy the bottom two relegation places.
Next up for Roughyeds is a derby clash with Rochdale Hornets at Bower Fold on Sunday (3pm) — the last of the 23 games in the regular Championship season.
Scott Leatherbarrow returned to the side against Sheffield to help out when not 100 per cent fit after ankle trouble. He is now needing treatment for a calf injury.
Matty Wilkinson also suffered a calf strain and George Tyson went off near the end with a knee complaint.
Said coach Scott Naylor: “I’m afraid it’s one step forward and two back in this injury situation we’re in.
“We’ll need to be better defensively against Rochdale.
“From now to the end of the play-offs — eight games in total — every game will be like a final because we are desperate to stay in this division.”