AFTER three years linked to Huddersfield Giants, Oldham have announced a new dual-registration partnership for the 2018 season with Salford Red Devils.
Scott Naylor, Roughyeds’ boss, will now have a close working relationship with Salford head coach Ian Watson, a former team mate and an ex-Oldham captain.
Naylor said: “I’m excited, for several reasons, about this dual-registration agreement with one of my former clubs.
“To start with, we’re not far away from Salford and that’s got to be a big help.
“Secondly, I’ve known Ian Watson for a long, long time. We played together. We go back years, and that’s important in itself. Ian Blease (Salford CEO) is also a good friend of mine.
“Myself and ‘Watto’ (Ian Watson) are in total agreement about what we both want out of this dual-reg arrangement.
“It’s going to be an important part of our season in our quest to get promotion and get back into the Championship.
“Dual-reg didn’t really work for us last year, but I’m confident this link with Salford will make us a lot stronger and give us really good options, especially come the end of the season when we get to the play-offs.”
Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton said: “We’ve been with Salford before. We know what they’re all about and they know what we’re all about.
“The Red Devils are under new ownership, so it’s a bright new era for them. We’ve already got a close association with Ian Watson and Ian Blease and hopefully that association will go from strength to strength.”
Oldham’s links with the Red Devils don’t end there. Naylor’s No 2 Peter Carey has also worked for the Betfred Super League Club while Adam Neal, club captain Gareth Owen, Jack Spencer and Liam Bent all rose through the ranks there with Neal, Owen and Spencer making a combined total of 88 Super League appearances in the Salford jersey.
Red Devils boss Watson said: “I’m happy we’ve got Oldham on board. They’re a great club and it will give some of our players a chance to play rugby when they aren’t in our squad, which is key to keeping players fit and seeing them develop as athletes.
“Oldham is handy for the majority of our lads, which will make it easy for us to work with them, and Scott Naylor is a brilliant coach who I’ve known for a long time. I’m looking forward to working with him this year.”
Salford CEO Ian Blease said: “We’re delighted to secure a new dual-registration partnership with a fantastic local side in Oldham.
“I’ve known Chris Hamilton for some time now and it’s been great to work with him in sorting out this dual-registration partnership. I’m looking forward to the relationship growing between the two clubs.”