KENNY Hughes will be back at Oldham in 2018 for a sixth season of first-team rugby in Roughyeds’ colours.
The 27-year-old hooker, who has totalled 123 games for the club since his senior debut in March, 2013, has penned a new one-year contract to follow the lead set by his close friend Danny Langtree.
They were together as teenagers in the St Helens academy and they’ve followed the same rugby pathway ever since, winning silverware in John Hough’s Oldham reserve team and then quickly establishing themselves as first-team regulars when Scott Naylor arrived as head coach in the autumn of 2012.
They’ve remained loyal to Roughyeds ever since with ‘Langers’ on 122 appearances and ‘King Kenny’ on 123.
Also among the 12 who have signed for next season are two more ‘originals’ from the reserves of seven years ago — Phil Joy and Steven Nield.
“It’s good to have continuity,” said Naylor. “Kenny was one of several lads who were already at the club when I arrived and he proved last season that he has the undoubted ability to play at Championship level.
“He missed only one game all season and he never gives less than 100 per cent.
“He’s got a good engine; a great attitude; and he’s willing to listen and to take things on board.
“His two years in the Championship will have done him a world of good. He’s a good lad to have around and next season he should be one of the quality hookers of League 1.”
Naylor, who has himself signed a new two-year deal, says he is really pleased at the way his 2018 squad is taking shape.
Adam Neal, Phil Joy, Danny Langtree, Gareth Owen, Steven Nield, Craig Briscoe, Jack Spencer, Ben Davies and Kenny Hughes have signed new deals, while goalkicking stand-off Paul Crook, prop Luke Nelmes and centre Danny Rasool have come in from Whitehaven, Halifax and Warrington respectively.
Of the three new signings, Crook has the biggest profile, having been an outstanding player for Rochdale for seven years before moving to Whitehaven where he fell one game short of helping to steer the Cumbrians back to the Championship at the first attempt.