OLDHAM have followed up the capture of Luke Hooley from Wakefield Trinity by signing another ‘back three’ youngster in Jared Simpson from Huddersfield Giants.
Like Hooley (19), 21-year-old Simpson comes on loan to the end of the season after playing three times for Roughyeds in 2016 on dual-registration.
The transfer door closes at 5pm on Friday, July 21, ending a manic week for Roughyeds, who have bolstered their injury-hit squad by bringing in Hooley and Simpson and negotiating extended loan deals for Liam Bent and Connor Williams from Salford Red Devils and for Sadiq Adebiyi and Kameron Pearce-Paul from London Broncos.
Simpson, the latest recruit, is the son of former Bradford and England international wing Roger Simpson.
A product of the Giants youth system, he signed a full-time two-year contract in 2015 and has since had it extended by another 12 months.
“Jared further strengthens the squad as we prepare for the Shield games,” said Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton. “He has been with us before so he knows all about our expectations and how we do things.”
Replacements were required after season-ending injuries to Scott Turner, Phil Joy, Richard Lepori, on-loan Kieran Gill — and now Gareth Owen.
A new scan on the club captain’s damaged foot has shown he needs an operation, ending hopes of his return in the later rounds of the Shield.
“It’s a bad one. He’ll be out until January,” confirmed coach Scott Naylor.
Prop Adam Neal (broken jaw) might be back, but he’ll certainly be missing for a few more weeks yet.
On a brighter note Jack Spencer will be available for Sunday’s big game against local rivals Rochdale at Bower Fold (3pm) after a month’s absence with groin trouble.
Added Naylor: “A few of the others are under treatment for a variety of pulls, strains and knocks that you always get at the back end of a long season.
“We’ll look at them again on Saturday and we’ll go with the strongest team we possibly can.
“It’s a pity we can’t put out a full-strength side in a game like this, but Hornets have injuries as well so we’ve just got to get on with it.
“We threw it away when they beat us at Summer Bash, so we feel we owe them one.”
Sammy Gee will be playing his 100th game for the club after making his debut in Naylor’s first game in charge – a Northern Rail Cup defeat at North Wales Crusaders in March, 2013.
Oldham (from): Clay, Tyson, Leatherbarrow, Hewitt, Gee, Spencer, Langtree, Thompson, Adamson, Bent, Davies, Burke, Hughes, Grimshaw, Ward, Pearce-Paul, Adebiyi, Nield, Wilkinson, Williams, plus dual-reg players from Huddersfield.
Said Hornets boss Alan Kilshaw: “It’s a big game for a number of reasons. There’s a lot riding on it and we know Oldham will be up for it.”
Hornets (from): Kay, Penny, Eccleston, Galbraith, Massam, Foster, Yates, Taira, Moores, Mitchell, Smith, Crowley, Walker, Maneely, Bennion, Hadden, Case, Holmes, Hatton, Palfrey, Middlehurst, Greenwood.
There will be no admission charge for under-16s with an adult.