BY asking for, and getting, a two-year deal to stay at Oldham until the end of the 2020 season, utility back Kyran Johnson has followed the lead set by scrum-half David Hewitt and, effectively, stand-off Paul Crook.
Crook, who will be doubling up for the first time as player and trainee coach, has a one-year deal with a one-year option.
Said pacy Johnson, who can play full-back or wing:
“I enjoyed my first season at Oldham so I thought: ‘Why not make it a two-year agreement and stay around for as long as possible ?”
He had other offers from both Championship and League 1 clubs but, far from relishing that, he said it had given him a headache because he was wrestling with what they had to say while all the time wanting to stay put at the Vestacare Stadium.
After putting pen to paper on Oldham’s new deal, he added:
“I’m made up. Really happy. I can relax now and start to think about the new season.
“I’m a Yorkshire lad and I had only ever played previously for Featherstone, but last season everybody at Oldham made me and my family as welcome as anybody could possibly do. Oldham became my second home and for a Yorkshire lad to say that, it really means something.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the field and pushing for promotion.
“I turned down Championship offers, but I hope to be there in 2020, playing for Roughyeds against the clubs that approached me.”
Johnson (24) scored five tries in 16 appearances last season but he was unlucky with injuries and would have had more game time had he not been sidelined.
As a Normanton warehouse worker on the night shift, he goes straight to work from Tuesday and Thursday night training in Oldham.
On Saturday morning he dashes straight off the night shift to drive the 40 or so miles to Oldham for the regular Captain’s Run.
Said coach Scott Naylor:
“It was important that we kept hold of Kyran.
“Luke Hooley won’t be with us next season, but Richie Hawkyard and Kyran are a couple of lads who can play both full-back and at least one other position.
“Kyran was unlucky last season. He’d just got going and was looking good when he picked up an injury which set him back.
“After a good pre-season I expect him to start as he finished.
“It’s good to have a few backs who can play two or more positions and Kyran clearly fits into that category.
“It provides options which is want I want as coach.”