OLDHAM have announced a dual-registration agreement with Betfred Championship side Leigh Centurions which starts with immediate effect and will run to the end of the season.
The initial approach came from Leigh and Roughyeds head coach Scott Naylor believes there is considerable merit in the partnership, given that on-loan Lee Kershaw’s return to Wakefield Trinity and the serious knee injury that will require an operation and has put Aaron Jones-Bishop out for the rest of the season reduces to 22 the number of players he currently has available.
Said Scott, Leigh-born and still resident in the town:
“John Duffy (Leigh head coach) is a good mate of mine and we both know what dual-reg is all about.
“Leigh approached us about it in the first instance and after giving it full consideration we felt it was a good idea which would benefit both clubs.
“Both clubs, of course, have to get out of it what they want to get out of it and I’m sure we will.
“We don’t have the biggest squad and John wants some of his lads to get more game time which will help us in the event of injuries and maybe allow me, when appropriate, to rest some players or do some squad rotation.
“This will put us in a stronger situation than we’re in presently, from now to the end of the season, and enable us to be better equipped for the back end of the year than in previous seasons when we’ve had a small squad that’s been hit by injury.”
Currently available to Scott and his coaching staff are the 17 who were on duty in last Sunday’s 34-18 win against Coventry Bears plus Anthony Bowman, Liam Bent, Phil Joy, Jamie Greenwood and on-loan Adam Brook.
Leigh currently lie fourth in the Betfred Championship and are striving to finish in the top five to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs.
Said coach Duffy:
“This new dual-reg agreement with Oldham is another good tool for us.
“Scott and myself have known each other for years and we get on well. Both our clubs have ‘dualled’ with Super League clubs so we both know what works and what doesn’t.
“Scott has been at Oldham a while now and he always does a good job. He’s a very good coach and a very good bloke so this will make it a very worthwhile partnership for all parties.
“Scott’s lads will always come first but if he can give some of our players valuable game-time at an important stage of the season that will be great.”
Oldham’s next assignment is a tough test at Keighley Cougars on Saturday evening (6.30pm kick-off), followed by a second-round 1895 Cup tie against Doncaster at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday week, June 2, kick-off 3pm.
Keighley are bottom of the table, but they started off on minus-12 and they’ve picked up 11 points out of a possible 16 which, in normal circumstances, would have put them third in the table, one place higher than Roughyeds and with one point more.