OLDHAM RLFC are pleased to announce two new loan agreements with Wakefield Trinity involving up-and-coming 19-year-olds Luke Hooley and Lee Kershaw.
Hooley’s latest week-to-week deal has been replaced with a season-long arrangement in which Trinity can trigger a recall option after the first month.
Kershaw is back on a one-month deal, similar to that in which he scored three tries in four games for Roughyeds between April 15 and May 6.
He then went back to his full-time Betfred Super League employers, but Roughyeds head coach Scott Naylor said at the time: “I’d be surprised if we didn’t see him playing for Oldham again.”
Oldham wish to place on record their appreciation of Wakefield’s assistance and especially the help given by chairman Michel Carter and head coach Chris Chester.
“This is brilliant news. We’ve always found that Wakefield Trinity is a great club to work with.
“Luke (Hooley) has always been fantastic with us. He’s a great lad. To have him training with Trinity during the day and playing for Oldham at weekends is good for him, for Trinity and for us. It’s a great deal for all concerned.
“It’s only a matter of time before he’s playing first-team for Wakefield, but in the meantime he can give us a lift and we can help him to make progress with game time at a senior level.
“As for Lee (Kershaw), he played extremely well the last time he was with us. He’s very young, but he’s learning the game at a fast rate and, like Luke, he’s also a good lad.
“He’s one for the future at Wakefield. He needs game time and we know what he is capable of. We obviously wanted to get him back and it’s great to know it’s happened.”
Goal-kicking full-back Hooley (19) first came to Oldham’s attention last year when he played in six of Roughyeds’ seven Championship Shield games while on loan, kicking
18 goals from 21 shots and scoring a match-winning try at Rochdale after following David Hewitt and taking the scrum-half’s final pass.
He was twice named Oldham’s top performer by League Express, in a 22-22 draw at Batley Bulldogs and in a 24-18 defeat by Toulouse Olympique at Bower Fold.
This season, both he and winger Kershaw (then aged 18, now 19), came on a month’s loan following the home defeat by Hunslet on April 8.
They both played in four games — wins against Keighley Cougars (32-18) and Newcastle Thunder (28-12) at the Vestacare Stadium; a 32-0 home defeat by Hull KR in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup; and a very impressive 32-10 win at Workington.
In that game, Hooley scored a brilliant solo try just after half-time to take Roughyeds into a 20-6 lead.
Kershaw played left wing in all four games, scoring twice against Keighley on his first-ever appearance at senior level and adding another in the win up at Derwent Park.
He has been at Trinity since he was 15 after representing West Yorkshire at age-group rugby union and then switching to League, first with Keighley Albion and later with Eastmoor Dragons, a community club with which Trinity have close associations.
When this season’s initial month at Oldham expired for both players, Kershaw returned to Trinity temporarily, while Hooley remained at Oldham on a week-to-week basis although he didn’t play against Hemel Stags and West Wales Raiders.
Both will be in contention for Oldham’s big game against Doncaster at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (3pm).
As a third v fourth clash it will be a potential humdinger and one which, even at this early stage of the season, could have a significant influence on final positions.
There are only two more Betfred League 1 games coming up this weekend — Hunslet v Whitehaven and West Wales Raiders v Newcastle.
Second-placed York’s defeat at Whitehaven — only their second loss of the season — means Oldham will be only two points behind them if they can beat Donny to make it six league wins in a row.
Latest League 1 results: Hemel Stags 0, Bradford Bulls 68; Hunslet 86, West Wales Raiders 0; Keighley Cougars 26, London Skolars 18; North Wales Crusaders 42, Coventry Bears 6; Whitehaven 26, York City Knights 18; Workington Town 38, Newcastle Thunder 18.