OLDHAM RLFC is delighted to announce the signing of its tenth new player for 2021 — another youngster from the Wigan area and one who will re-engage the Roughyeds’ Roden dynasty.
The name’s not the same; it’s Callum Green. But his Mum is Neil Roden’s sister; his grandad Jack, a Wigan Warriors scout for many years, is also Neil’s Dad; and Jack’s brother is Martin Roden’s Dad.
The legendary Neil, Callum’s uncle, arrived in 2000 from Wigan Warriors, with Phil Farrell, and played 295 games for Roughyeds — a record for Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd and 67 more than second-placed John Hough.
He’s also the ‘new’ Oldham club’s top try scorer with 113 — 24 more than his closest challenger Danny Langtree, who has recently signed a new, two-year contract
Martin, Neil’s cousin, played 77 times for Oldham between 2009 and 2011 and then became assistant coach to Tony Benson, taking on the role of caretaker boss near the end of the 2012 campaign before the appointment of Scott Naylor as coach in the autumn of that year.
Now comes 21-year-old Callum Green, a goalkicking full-back or stand-off, who was brought up in a rugby-mad family with the Roden blood running through his veins.
He played for England under-16s; passed through the Wigan Warriors development system; and, more recently, played for Warrington Wolves under-19s and reserves.
He celebrated his 21st birthday only a month ago and, while growing up at the Warriors, played many times in the same Wigan teams as Ben Holcroft and Max Roberts, who have also signed for Roughyeds.
By last year, he had moved to Warrington, who played him at centre in their under-19s side that won at Castleford Tigers to earn a semi-final clash with Wigan, who went on to beat St Helens in the Grand Final with Roberts and Holcroft forming a centre-wing partnership.
“Warrington played me at centre, but I’m really a full-back or half-back,” said Callum, who’s no stranger to Roughyeds, having been a fan since he was a small boy.
“Neil and Martin were my favourite players, obviously, but I also liked Paul O’Connor and Lucas Onyango. We used to watch Roughyeds regularly at home games and I learned a lot from watching Neil.
“I’m really looking forward to the start of pre-season training and even more so to the start of the season.”
His signing was a big moment for grandad Jack, who now sees his grandson playing for the club at which his son became arguably the best and most consistent player of the last 23 years.
“Callum’s a good player with lots of pace. I am very proud he is going to play at Oldham, following in Neil’s footsteps. I hope he can give the same commitment Neil did.”
His new head coach Matt Diskin said;
“Callum is a young lad with loads of promise. He will obviously have benefited from coming through the Wigan system and then playing at Warrington. He has a lot of pace and he can play in a few positions in the backs.
“Like the other youngsters we’ve signed, he has all his rugby future ahead of him and if he works hard in pre-season I’m sure he’ll take the step-up to Championship rugby with both hands”.
Roughyeds have now confirmed that 23 players are already on their roster for 2021.