FOR the third time in a few hours, Roughyeds have again beaten this season’s signing deadline with the capture on loan of another young player – this time a forward – from Super League club Huddersfield Giants.
Birthday boy Fenton Rogers, son of former Oldham, Rochdale Hornets and Swinton Lions prop Wes Rogers, has had quite a week.
He was 18 on Wednesday when he also played for Lancashire in an Academy Roses match against Yorkshire.
He has since joined his home-town club on loan to gain experience of playing at senior level against men as opposed to players of roughly his own age at academy level.
Giants head coach Ian Watson, a former Oldham captain, firmly believes he is ready for that sort of challenge, hence his approval of the teenage prop-forward’s loan move and his high recommendation of the player’s ability, work ethic and willingness to learn.
Like his Dad before him, Fenton is a front-row forward. He’s a full-time pro at Huddersfield, who picked him up as a 14-year-old playing at Saddleworth Rangers, where he had been since he was a small boy.
He didn’t know it at the time but among those watching Wednesday’s academy inter-county match, with Rogers propping for Lancashire, was Oldham’s assistant boss Brendan Sheridan.
“I was really impressed with Fenton. He’s a big lad for his age, he can offload the ball with a good pair of hands and he’s got some aggression.
“I liked what I saw. And if Watto (Ian Watson) speaks highly of him too, that’s good enough for me.”
Rogers says he can’t wait to become involved at Oldham, albeit on a temporary basis.
“Playing against older guys will give me a real buzz and will also provide me with experience,” he said. “I suppose from the Giants point of view that’s what these loan deals are all about; giving us a chance to see what its like playing elsewhere against older opponents.”
Commenting on his experience of academy Roses rugby, he added:
“It was surreal. As an Oldham lad I was in the Lancashire side, but because my club is Huddersfield, a lot of my mates over there were in the Yorkshire team.
“We got a good spanking. They didn’t bother me too much, but they certainly got stuck into the other Lancashire lads.”
Rogers, who will train with Oldham for the first time tonight, joins Brad Jinks from Waterhead (and formerly Castleford Tigers) and Lloyd Roby from Widnes Vikings as the Roughyeds’ three beat-the-deadline signings.