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Another experienced forward takes our numbers to 23

ROUGHYEDS are pleased to announce the signing of another experienced forward in 26-year-old, Dewsbury-born prop, second-row man or loose James Thornton.

James Thornton
James Thornton

James, who has played for Hemel, Featherstone Rovers, Sheffield Eagles, Dewsbury Rams and North Wales Crusaders on loan, has signed a one-year deal to become our fifth back-row-of-the-pack capture, alongside Callum Cameron, Tom Grierson and the more experienced Jason Muranka and Emmerson Whittel.

His signing takes to 23 the number of players Roughyeds have got over the line since centre Joe Hartley set the ball rolling less than two months ago.

“The club deserves massive credit for that," said new head coach Stu Littler. “From a standing start, we are now at the stage where we can talk about shirt-challenging and competition for places.

“I’m really excited about the squad we’ve put together so far and I’m just as happy to get this latest signing done and dusted as I was all the others.

“James is another experienced forward who knows what the Championship and League One are all about. He’s been at good Championship clubs like Featherstone and Dewsbury and he’s also played in League One with Hemel and others.”

Thornton played for amateurs Shawcross in his youth before growing up in the game with Bradford Academy where Emmerson Whittel was one of his team mates.

From there he spent one and a half seasons with Hemel before landing a deal at Featherstone where he suffered a serious knee injury involving his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

When he was ready to play again, Sheffield came next , followed by Dewsbury for the last two years.

He said:

“I’m fully fit now and raring to go in this new challenge at Oldham. I’ve always played in the forwards; always been in the thick of it and I’ve never, ever shied away from the tough stuff like clearing your own line when you are up against it.

“I always put my hand up for that job because I like the physical part of the game, like getting involved with exit sets and mixing it a bit if I have to.

“My arrival at Oldham happened pretty quickly. The first I knew they were seriously interested was only last Friday. And when I learned what was happening at the club in terms of putting a new squad together and virtually starting from scratch, I couldn’t get on board quickly enough.

“Everyone speaks highly of Oldham and I really want to be part of what they are trying to achieve both on the field and off it. The least we should be striving for is a play-off spot.

“On a personal note, I got a decent number of games at Dewsbury, although not as many as I would have liked. I need more consistency and that’s what I’ll be striving for.

“I know a few of the Oldham players, such as Tommy Brierley in the backs and Luke Nelmes in the forwards and I was at Featherstone when Martyn Ridyard was there, so it will very soon feel like home-from home.”

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