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Bonfire night — and we sign a sparkler

How appropriate that on a milestone night like Bonfire Night we can announce the signing of another young Oldhamer — one who has ‘sparkled’ sufficiently at Academy level with Huddersfield Giants to be involved with England’s Academy set-up under Paul Sculthorpe.

Although he lives in Huddersfield and played all his junior rugby. from the age of eight, at the Moldgreen club, 20-years-old Sean Slater was born in Oldham and his Mum lives in Chadderton.

Sean Slater
Sean Slater

Family circumstances dictated his relocation to Yorkshire, but he regards himself very much an Oldhamer and that was a key part of his decision to sign for Roughyeds with Hunslet also chasing him.

A skilful young hooker or half-back, with a preference for the halves, Sean said:

“I had set my heart on playing for my hometown team so in that respect alone, Oldham had a head start.

“I’ve just had my 20th birthday, in October, and when the Giants let me go, on reaching the end of my Academy days, the thought of finishing with rugby never even crossed my mind.

“I know a lot of lads do that, which is sad, but I always felt there would be other opportunities and, for obvious reasons, I was really pleased when Oldham came in for me.

“I’m starting a Car Wrapping business with a mate of mine and playing and training part-time with Oldham, so there will be more than enough there to keep me busy and occupied.”

He signed Scholarship forms for Giants when he was 14 or 15, but continued to play at Moldgreen as well for another couple of years.

When he was 16/17, he moved up to the Academy at Giants, playing alongside two more youngsters who have signed for Roughyeds — Callum Cameron (another Oldhamer) and Tom Grierson.

Shortly after being named captain of Giants' Academy, he was called into the England squad, training a lot of the time at Hull, and it was there that he was converted from a half to a hooker.

He was named in an England Academy side to play Wales, but he had to pull out for domestic reasons.

He added:

“My longer-term ambition is to get back into Super League one day but my immediate aim, and one I am fully committed to, is to contribute all I can towards getting Oldham back into the Championship.

“Roughyeds seem very keen indeed to attract a lot of younger people to the sport and to the club – players and supporters – and if they were to be successful in that it would be great for the sport, the club and the town.

“I’m delighted to be part of that and I’m eagerly looking forward to the start of training.”

Stuart Littler commented:

“Sean is another young Oldham lad who fits into what we are trying to achieve with local talent.

“This is just another example of that. To all intents and purposes, he’s an Oldhamer and that’s important for what we are trying to do in the community.

“I’m a big believer in ‘community’ and in ‘community clubs’. They do a great job. My own son plays at Leigh Miners and I spend a fair bit of time there with him.

“I am more than happy to visit any community club in the Oldham area to talk about our relationship with them and what we can do to help each other in these hard times.

“I want us to have a good, lasting and meaningful connection with local community clubs and, as I say, I will be absolutely delighted to visit any of them to set the ball rolling.

“As for Sean, he’s an Oldham lad who can play half or hooker and I am really looking forward to working with yet another local boy whose versatility will be especially useful now we can only have eight replacements.”

Of our 17 signings announced so far, five can be classed as young locals – Joe Hartley, Brad Jinks, Callum Cameron, David Mills and Sean Slater.

Joe came to us direct from St Anne’s; Brad from Waterhead, via Castleford Tigers); Callum from Waterhead via Castleford Tigers and Huddersfield Giants; David from Littleborough ARLFC, St Anne’s and Warrington Wolves; and now Sean from Moldgreen and Huddersfield Giants.

Three more locals, club captain Gareth Owen, Phil Joy and Danny Bridge, retired at the end of last season after giving Roughyeds long and loyal service for which the club will be forever grateful.

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