ZACK McComb says he has mixed feelings about his decision to accept a good offer from Sheffield Eagles and thus bid farewell to Roughyeds, the club he joined from Siddal two years ago.
On one hand he is eagerly looking forward to pushing for a place in a side that finished just outside the Betfred Championship’s play-off top-five last season; on the other he is sad and sorry to be leaving a club at which he has been so happy and was made by everyone to feel part of the club’s fixtures and fittings.
When he came to Oldham for pre-season training and trials from the Halifax-located amateur club in the autumn of 2017 his life as a rugby league player was at the crossroads.
He had been at Huddersfield Giants as a boy and a youth, then on to Batley Bulldogs, who had sent him out on loan and dual-reg to Oxford and Gloucester All Golds.
He then returned to where it all began, Siddal, before Roughyeds took on Zack and three colleagues for pre-season training and trials at a time when they were rebuilding after relegation from the Championship at the end of the 2017 season.
McComb did well in pre-season games at Barrow and Keighley before enjoying a promising 2018 season in which he scored 11 tries in 18 games, mainly at centre but also on the wing.
In the season just ended he made the right-centre berth his own, scoring 16 tries (second only to Danny Langtree’s 18) in 24 games and became one of the side’s best and most reliable outside backs.
In his two seasons in Betfred League 1 he totalled 27 tries in 42 games — a statistic of which any centre in the third tier could be proud.
It says much for his progress at Roughyeds that only two seasons after arriving as an unknown for trials, he is moving on to a club in the upper reaches of the Championship, only one tier down from Super League.
I owe everything to Oldham for giving me the opportunity to get back into the pro game and right now it’s going to be a big wrench to leave a bunch of lads who have become my best mates.
“I enjoyed every minute at Oldham and I’ll miss everyone at the club, especially the other lads. We bonded really well together and the craic we had was fantastic. I like to think I was a good part of that. They’ll give me some stick about this, that’s for sure!
I’ll never forget my days at Oldham, believe me, and I can’t thank the club too much for all it did for me.
“One or two clubs showed an interest, through my agent, and then Sheffield made an offer and I was required to make a quick decision.
“It’s a new challenge and I’m looking forward to it but if I’m playing against Roughyeds next season it will seem strange – very strange.
“Helping the club to win promotion this season was the highlight of my career so far and something that will have a special place in my memories.”
Roughyeds say McComb goes with the club’s sincere thanks for his services and with its best wishes for his future.