COVENTRY Bears’ big centre Matt Reid, all 6ft4in and 16st of him, has joined Oldham on a one-year deal to become the Roughyeds’ sixth new recruit of the close season.
Formerly with North Wales Crusaders, 25-year-old Reid is a secondary school PE teacher in Warrington, where he was reared on rugby league with well-known community club Latchford Albion.
Warrington born, he still lives in his home town and he says he can’t wait to be playing “just down the road at Oldham”, having spent the last five years commuting to Wrexham and Coventry.
Roughyeds’ head coach Scott Naylor said: “Matt comes to us highly recommended. I got a phone call singing his praises. We spoke to a few people after that and did our homework.
“We got nothing but good vibes from every person we spoke to. He had a big season at Coventry this year. He played in a few positions but we see him primarily as a centre, which is his favourite position anyway.
“Specialised centre play is dying in the modern game. There are not a lot of them around, so it’s good to come across a young lad who has played a lot in that position and is keen to learn as much about centre play as he can.
“Coming to Oldham will be a step-up for him. We’ll teach him everything we possibly can and strive to make him a quality lad.”
Chairman Chris Hamilton added: “He has a lot of potential and we think we can develop him. He’s shown a lot of commitment and a lot of determination to travel to Coventry for the past two seasons in his desire to play rugby league.
“He sees his move to Oldham as a jump in the right direction in his efforts to move up in the sport.”
Reid temporarily left rugby league at the age of 16 when he moved on from Latchford Albion and went to Lymm RUFC for the next two years before signing his first pro contract with the Crusaders.
He played around 30 games for the Welsh side, including several in the Championship in 2014, and then moved on to Coventry.
Commenting on his move to Oldham, Reid said: “The first I knew Roughyeds were interested came when I got a call from Chris (Hamilton).
“Now it’s all sorted I can’t wait to get cracking. I don’t know any of the Oldham lads so it will be a fresh start for me in every way you look at it.”
He won’t be alone in the new boys’ corner where he’ll be joining Paul Crook, Luke Nelmes, Danny Rasool, Kyran Johnson and Dave Eccleston.