OLDHAM’S squad building has continued with the capture on a one-year deal of utility forward Ed Smith, the former York City Knights captain, who had played 130 games for his home-town club before suffering a serious knee injury in 2017.
He had a major reconstruction, but the knee collapsed a second time while he was out and about, not playing or training. It required another reconstruction and it was while he was out of the game that he relocated to Salford due to a career move in banking.
Oldham invited him to join them for regular treatment and rehab and the club looked after him for six months before signing him, in July, on a short-term deal to the end of the season with a view to keeping him further if all went well.
He successfully came through three games without mishap and did more than enough to earn a new deal, which has now materialised.
“All the feedback I’m getting is that Ed is fine now and ready to go,”
said Roughyeds’ head coach Matt Diskin.
“It was a bad injury he suffered at York, but it was more than two years ago and medical science these days is remarkable. He came through three games at the back end of last season and I’m delighted to have him back on board.
“He has real quality and loads of experience. He had a big reputation at York and he will add quality, experience and depth to the back-row of the pack.”
At the time he signed his first Oldham contract in July, he said:
“I’ve been out of the game for two years but I’m only 26 and I’ve really missed it.
“I have spent all my young life in rugby league and I discovered that life wasn’t the same without it.
“Having moved to the Manchester area, I was delighted to be approached by Oldham who offered to help me with my physiotherapy and rehab in the hope of getting me back to full fitness.
“I’ve been at the club since last January and I’ve been made really welcome. Oldham have been very good to me.
“For the past few weeks I’ve been training with the squad and now I’ve got the all-clear to play. The lads are a great bunch and I’m really happy to be joining them.
“Two years is a long time to be out, but I’m really looking forward to playing again. I can’t wait.”
He was nursed back off the bench in three games and, as expected after such a long time out, he felt a few niggles, though nothing to cause concern.
+ Only six seeks after beating big-spending Newcastle Thunder in an epic Promotion Final at the Vestacare Stadium, the Oldham players will be back in pre-season training under new head coach Matt Diskin next week.
+ Now is the best time to buy your season ticket for the return to the Betfred Championship, at Bower Fold, next season. Early Bird offers, which are available to the end of November, give you the equivalent of THREE free games out of 13 when compared with turnstile prices. For more information go to the Roughyeds online store or ring 07904 898177 between 10am and 3pm Monday, Wednesday or Friday.