OLDHAM are delighted to announce the signing of a second young player who has passed through the hugely demanding and highly professional development programme at Leeds Rhinos.
First it was prop Tyler Dupree, a 20-year-old prop-forward; now we can confirm the signing on a one-year contract of 23-year-old wing or full-back Tommy Brierley, who was on scholarship and academy forms at Leeds from the age of 14 until he was 20.
In Tommy’s case, Matt Diskin — once a Leeds legend — is hoping a change of direction and a move across the Pennines will bring a change of luck for the Dewsbury-born utility back, who has suffered more than his share of early-career injuries.
While at Leeds he played for Yorkshire Academy and was also chosen to take part in a special scheme in which selected youngsters get to work with the first team in a bid to fast-track their development.
He ultimately signed for York City Knights in 2017, aged 20, played five games — and damaged a knee. It involved an anterior cruciate ligament and it restricted his appearances, by this time at Hunslet, to four in the same 2017 season, four in 2018 and two in 2019.
Having made a full recovery, he joined Dewsbury for this curtailed 2020 season and, before Lockdown, played in two pre-season games and also in a Challenge Cup win at Whitehaven.
Said Diskin: ”
We’re all from Dewsbury and both Brendan (assistant coach) and I know the lad very well. He’s a very talented kid who has had some injury problems.
“He’s over them now and there’s absolutely no doubt at all that if he can stay free of injury he has the talent to play and do very well indeed for us in every position in the back line.”
“I’m well over my injury setbacks now and I’m feeling good. Matt knows me from my Leeds days and I know Brendan from his time in the amateur game in Dewsbury, where we both live.
“When I spoke to Matt and then to Chris (chairman Hamilton) it was so obvious that the club was ambitious to do well and was heading in the right direction.
“It sounded to be a great club to be at and I wanted to be part of it. I’m really looking forward to a new chapter in my development.
“My preferred options are full-back or wing, but I’ll play anywhere in the backs if called upon to do so. There are some really good players at Oldham already. The club seems to be quickly building a good squad.
“The Championship is of a very high standard, but I’m sure we can hold our own.”