SCOTT Naylor has welcomed a situation in which he will pilot Oldham into the business end of the season with more players than he has had all year.
The arrival of Ed Smith, Jimmy Beckett, Kiedan Hartley, Luke Hooley and Declan Kay in beat-the-deadline captures takes to 27 the number of players Naylor will have under his wing when the signing trap-door is closed and padlocked at 5pm this evening (Friday).
He is sorry to lose Lee Kershaw, naturally, but delighted to welcome the incoming five, of whom all but 26-year-old Smith are young players who have been signed on loan to the end of the season.
Beckett, a prop, is 20 while the others are all backs; Hartley (19), Hooley (21) and Kay (22).
Winger Kershaw has been recalled by injury-hit Wakefield , who agreed to temporarily release Hooley to enable him to have a third spell on loan at Oldham.
Roughyeds now have six players at the club in a temporary capacity: Adam Brook from Halifax; Harry Aaronson from Swnton Lions; Becket and Hartley from Featherstone Rovers; Hooley from Wakefield Trinity; Kay from Rochdale Hornets.
That in itself says a lot about the regard in which Roughyeds are held by Championship clubs, which are happy to place their up-and-coming boys in Oldham hands in order to give them experience.
“It’s good for us too,”
said a delighted Naylor.
“It’s just what I wanted, in fact, With four big league games coming up and then more than likely the play-offs we needed as much strength in depth as we could get.
“We need to put new faces on the field. We can’t keep putting lads who are carrying knocks into game situations week on week.
“There’s a lot riding on the remainder of the season and we need to freshen up.”
All the new boys trained last night and if Smith comes through with no adverse reaction and Jack Spencer passes a fitness test tomorrow (Sat) all 27 will be in the selection mix for Sunday’s massive second v third game against Newcastle Thunder at the Vestacare Stadium.
Smith, who made his Oldham debut at Skolars, trained flat out last night.
Spencer didn’t train but a final decision on his hip problem will be delayed as long as possible.