Oldham snap up their second young Warrior

Date published: 23 October 2020

Oldham RLFC has announced further squad strengthening for 2021 with the capture of a second young player from the renowned Wigan Warriors school of rugby league skills and sciences.

Like his 19-year-old Wigan Academy team-mate Ben Holcroft, 20-year-old Max Roberts is looking to pursue his career in a different direction and he has chosen Oldham, and head coach Matt Diskin, as the club and tutor to show him the way.

They have each been at Wigan for several years and have played together at scholarship, academy and reserve-team levels, Holcroft mainly on the wing and Roberts usually at centre or second-row. 

In last year's Super League under-19s Grand Final they formed a centre-wing partnership in a 22-10 win against arch rivals St Helens, each scoring a try.

Roberts, like Holcroft, has signed a one-year contract and is eagerly looking forward to a new challenge in first-team football at a level only one rung down from Super League.

Said Diskin: "Max is a talented young player with a great attitude.

"He is itching to get started with us and we are looking forward to working with him. "

From Atherton, near Leigh, Roberts started out at Leigh Miners as a boy and then moved on to Blackbrook Royals in St Helens before signing for Wigan on scholarship forms at the age of 15.

Diskin and club chairman Chris Hamilton convinced him that he could do no better than sign for Oldham.

Said Roberts: "We talked about the club, the game generally and Oldham's goals and targets for next year and beyond and I liked what I heard. 

"Growing up as a boy all I ever wanted to do was to sign for Wigan.

"I'm glad I did because I was really happy there, but it was time to move on and in sport, as in life, there's always something else that turns up. 

"Oldham was definitely the best option for me and now, like Ben, I'm really looking forward to a new chapter at Oldham and facing up to the new challenge of playing in a different environment in the Championship."

The Roughyeds' squad, as announced so far, numbers 21 and includes eight new signings in Tyler Dupree (Leeds Rhinos), Martyn Reilly, Luke Nelmes, Tommy Brierley (all Dewsbury Rams), Ben Heaton (Hunslet), Shaun Pick (Batley Bulldogs), Ben Holcroft (Wigan Warriors) and Max Roberts (Wigan Warriors).

Backs: Lewis Charnock, Dave Hewitt, Tommy Brierley, Cam Leeming, Dan Abram, Ben Heaton, John Hutchings, Ben Holcroft, Max Roberts.

Forwards: Danny Langtree, Tyler Dupree, Martyn Reilly, Luke Nelmes, Matthew Fletcher, Matty Wilkinson, Gareth Owen (capt), Jack Spencer, Liam Bent, Phil Joy, Ed Smith, Shaun Pick.

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