SCOTT Naylor is confident in his belief that centre Zack McComb will become a leading light in the Roughyeds camp in the not-too-distant future.
He has rewarded the 23-year-old Yorkshireman with another one-year contract after his impressive debut season in Betfred League 1 in which he scored 11 tries in 18 appearances.
Stepping up from NCL premier division side Siddal, McComb did more than enough to convince Naylor that he made the right decision in signing him up nearly a year ago after a full pre-season and then trials in warm-up games against Barrow and Keighley.
With a full season behind him, and no longer one of the new boys, Halifax-based McComb is now looking forward to making an even bigger impression in 2019.
“Last season was a big learning curve. I learned a lot. It’s a big step-up from the community game, but I think I did okay and now I need to kick-on,” he said.
“It’s going to be a big year for the team — and for me personally.”
McComb spent five years at Huddersfield Giants in his youth, followed by a season at Batley Bulldogs, who sent him out on loan to Oxford and Gloucester All Golds.
He was back at Siddal though when he decided to have another crack at making it as a part-time pro.
“There were a few things about my game that I can put right in 2019 and I’ll be striving hard to do that.
“As a squad we had a few narrow defeats and a few setbacks with injuries, but that’s no excuse — we need to do better.
“It was good to score 11 tries, but I would have liked to get a few more and, in any case, it’s more important to count up the number of good performances you put in rather than the number of tries you get.
“I was competing with Matty Reid and Jack Holmes for the centre spots and I was happy to get a good number of games.
“In between there were a few times when Scott would stand me down and ask me to watch and learn. That was useful. I was glad though to be back for the last game of the season at Bradford.
“We didn’t do ourselves justice but on a personal note I felt I had kicked on a bit just to be there in a game like that.
“And I’m made up to be back at Oldham for another year.”
“Zack got better as the season went on.
“At a new club and with new people he needed a bit of time to settle in but when he got used to the expectations of the club, of me and of Pete Carey (assistant coach) he did really well.
“I would leave him out now and again to give him a chance to look at things from the sidelines, but he handled that well and he was very professional in everything he did all season.
“There were times when he was our best back and I’ve no doubt that in time he will become a top player for us.
“He is a young lad who is keen to learn. He isn’t afraid to ask questions in a bid to improve himself and that’s half the battle.
“I am absolutely certain he will go from strength to strength.”
Chairman Chris Hamilton and Naylor, in tandem, are working hard behind the scenes to build what they believe will be a winning squad and one of which supporters can be proud.
More signings are expected next week but in the current financial climate, in which some clubs are firing distress signals, it is imperative that as many fans as possible consider buying season tickets before discounted offers end on December 14.