SCOTT Naylor has labelled as “brilliant” the support he gets from his chairman Chris Hamilton as Oldham RL again prepare to punch above their weight in the 2017 Kingstone Press Championship.
It was evident at last season’s Roughyeds’ awards night that there was a lot of chemistry between the two most influential people in any rugby league club – chairman and head coach.
Naylor, ready to work in tandem with Hamilton for the fifth year in a row, has now gone public about how their partnership operates and how the chairman backs him financially in their joint efforts to build a squad that can hack it with the Championship big boys.
Oldham and other ‘small’ clubs battling to compete in a division that comprises full-time and part-time squads receive central funding of £150,000 – a fraction of the goodies enjoyed by clubs higher up the pecking order.
Despite that imbalance and average home crowds last year that failed to reach four figures, Naylor has a squad that includes six new signings – Scott Leatherbarrow, Ben Davies, Nathan Chappell, Adam Neal, George Tyson and David Hewitt – and a bigger backroom staff of medical and strength and conditioning personnel that also contains a few new faces.
Naylor has gone on public record, saying: “All this costs money, but the chairman continues to push to his limit to do what he can, which is brilliant.
“You can obviously see the difference it makes. We’ve gone from seventh in League One (when Naylor took charge in the autumn of 2012) to a second season in the Championship and hopefully a better season again in 2017. We can see gradual improvement and I don’t think many clubs can say that.
“I don’t know how much is left (available money within budget) and I’m scared to ask because I seem to be asking for a lot of things.
“To be fair, Chris isn’t saying ‘no’ and he’s buying things we need around the club, but I’m scared to go to him and ask for another player.
“I ask for a lot of things, and that includes staff, but on the back of that we’ve gradually improved the club. I’m always looking to change the team for the better but unfortunately a lot of those things cost money.
“I don’t always get it, but the chairman doesn’t have a problem spending if he thinks it’s worthwhile. He spent a lot of money last season on players and on video and he’s spent a lot on players again this year.
“We’ve also got more staff as well as a lot of little things that we didn’t have before.”
Naylor said he still had funding on his initial budget to bring in one more player but, as in previous years, he preferred to be patient in his quest to land the right man.
Fans are reminded that 2017 season tickets remain on sale until December 23 at the current discounted prices. You can buy online at www.roughyeds.co.uk or ring the office on 07904898177 for details of how to buy at Whitebank.