AFTER a debut season as a professional in Oldham’s 2021 Championship campaign, local lad Joe Hartley is no longer a “fresher” and he intends to make a serious impact on team selection next year in League One.
The 23-year-old former St Anne’s centre was happy enough with his six games last season when he was offered his first taste of the action at this level, but he’ll be striving for a considerably larger slice of the selection cake in a lower league than last year and with pro experience already in the bank.
The former England Colleges full-back, who has now switched to centre and insists that it is his best and favourite position, is the first player to put pen to paper on a new one-year contract for 2022, but there will be more announcements in the next few days.
Said Joe, an Oldham lad who lives in West Yorkshire with his girlfriend:
“I built up my experience last season, my first at the club, but I’m hoping for more game time next year.
“It will be a new challenge with a new head coach and with new players in the squad and I’m really looking forward to it and to playing under Stuart Littler.
“In his playing days he was a great centre, so I’m looking forward to being coached by a specialist centre, who made a name for himself in that position. If anyone can tell me and show me how to play centre, who better than Stuart Littler ?”.
Hartley scored one try in six games last year, playing four times at centre, once on the wing and once off the bench.
His most impressive performance was against the all-powerful Featherstone Rovers side at Bower Fold in August when he showed lots of promise, scored a try and threatened the well-organised Rovers defence on numerous occasions.
Watch this website and our social media channels for more 2022 signings, resuming on Monday.