Naylor eyes new recruits
Date published: 07 February 2013
SCOTT Naylor plans to bolster his Oldham RL squad with at least one more signing before the start of the season in little more than three weeks.
It might even stretch to two, given that Chris Murphy has left the club and David Cookson and Liam Thompson will not be available for the first few games.
Utility back Murphy (23), who was due to start his second season at Whitebank, has found it increasingly difficult to juggle his Roughyeds commitments with those of university and part-time work and has put rugby league on hold.
Naylor said: “He was honest with me and I respect his decision. He felt it necessary to look at his priorities.
“Sunday’s warm-up game against Salford will provide us with a better picture of where we stand and where we might need to strengthen, but I’m hoping to bring somebody else in before we go to North Wales Crusaders on March 3, and I might be aiming for two.”
Centre Cookson’s RFL ban ends on February 28, but he has not been allowed to take part in pre-season training. Loose forward Thompson is working his way back to full fitness after a shoulder operation.
Naylor will have 20 players available for Sunday’s first pre-season work-out at Whitebank (3pm) against a Salford City Reds squad partly made up of senior players not required for the Super League game at Catalan Dragons.
OLDHAM RL Club chairman Chris Hamilton described Roughyeds’ decision to invest in the under-20s as an “act of faith”.
The under-18s and under-23s have been disbanded, and Phil Costin was yesterday named coach of the under-20s.
Hamilton said: "We are continuing that policy despite reduced RFL funding this year. We hope fans will come to watch the team play."
The first team face Salford in a pre-season friendly at Whitebank on Sunday (3pm kick-off).
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