Featherstone Rovers wing Kyran Johnson has become the latest player to join Oldham as boss Scott Naylor continues to plan for the 2018 season.
“To sign for a club on the other side of the Pennines is a massive change for this proper Yorkshire lad, but after nine years at Rovers it was time for a change and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it,” said Johnson, who played in most of Featherstone’s Middle 8s games at the back end of last season.
His one-year deal at Oldham means he will be venturing into the unknown.
“I don’t know a single player over there, but I’ll have a full pre-season to bed-in. And to move outside my comfort zone and to get used to travelling over the M62 a few times each week will be part of the experience,” he added.
“I’m ready to have a crack at something new. I’ll be trying to better myself as a player; to gain experience in new surroundings; and to help Oldham get straight back up to the Championship.
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to do things I haven’t been able to do at Featherstone.
“It will be a completely new challenge for me, but I’ve played all my rugby near home since I started at Lock Lane as a seven year old and I’m really excited by this fresh start.”
Roughyeds have big hopes for Johnson, whom they describe as “exciting and pacy”.
He scored 11 tries and kicked 23 goals in 33 senior appearances for Rovers, for whom he signed junior scholarship forms at the age of 13 and also enjoyed a loan spell at Hunslet
“Kyran has been part of a squad that’s been in the top three or four of the Championship for the last few seasons.” Oldham head coach Scott Naylor said.
“He’s proved he can play at that level and for years he’s been in a good environment at Rovers.
“In my opinion, he wasn’t given enough senior games and we saw an opportunity to sign a quality lad who is hungry to succeed at Oldham and who wants to prove to himself and to others that he is good enough.
“We are delighted to sign him and to give him a platform to play on a regular basis.
“He’s a quality lad who is multi-skilled and he has everything he needs to become a top-class player.
“It’s an exciting signing for our club and both Pete (assistant coach Peter Carey) and I are looking forward to working with him.”