Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton and Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis have revealed that their clubs share concerns about the way dual registration operates.
Huddersfield and Oldham will be partnering up for dual registration in 2016, but both clubs were unhappy with the way that deadlines worked out in 2015.
Giants youngsters Oliver Roberts and Nathan Mason played for Oldham in 2015, but the deadline for July signings meant that both players missed the Roughyeds’ last five games of the season, and the League 1 Grand Final.
That meant that neither youngster was able to properly share in the glory of Oldham’s promotion campaign.
“I share Giants view that the registration deadline ruined the whole experience for Mason and Roberts,” said Hamilton.
“They missed out on our late-season pressure games and ultimately the joy of being part of our promotion-winning side.
“I hope the RFL look at this again and in a manner that will benefit young players. According to media reports they have supported the wish of some clubs to increase the salary cap, and we feel they should now back those clubs who are looking to prevent what happened to Nathan and Ollie at the back end of last season.”
Thewlis adopted a more scathing tone when discussing the regulations.
“Dual registration was running nicely until the RFL deadline scuppered it for two of our players who contributed much to Oldham’s wonderful year,” he said.
“They helped to take Oldham to the brink of their promotion dream, but to be recalled when they were, given the regulations, was a blow to them and to Oldham.
“It was to Oldham’s credit that they went on and completed the task minus two key players.
“The clubs didn’t fall out, but we had to play the hand that was dealt us.
“We have made representations to the league to alter this system and promote young-player development.”
Both directors are pleased that the two clubs will be partnering again in 2016, however.
“The step-up to the Championship is a big one for us, but we have been talking to Giants about players and where they can help us,” Hamilton added.
“In this division there are massive differentials in funding and we will need all the help we can get. Huddersfield were great with us last year, and we expect more of the same.
“We can tap into many areas of their expertise, such as conditioning, sports science, recovery, hydration, nutrition. It is up to us how and when we use them, as is the selection of Giants players who are made available to us on any given week.”
Thewlis highlighted the role that the medical facilities at Huddersfield can play in Oldham’s season.
“We are delighted to again be partnered with Oldham,” he said.
“Our conditioners continue to work there and our medical facilities are available to them as and when needed, as are any of our staff who they feel can assist them.
“They stand alone but they know we are there to help if required.”