Oldham retain Burke

Oldham have re-signed prop Joe Burke for 2017 on a new contract.

Burke, signed in March from North Wales Crusaders, played 22 games for the Roughyeds this season.

Oldham coach Scott Naylor said: “He’s got a big engine, which means he has good minutes in him and that’s a strong asset for any front-rower to possess.

“He went better and better as the season progressed.

“He’s a good pro with everything he needs to be a top-class prop and it’s good that he will be with us again next year.”

Burke, who has played several times for Wales, has been included in his country’s train-on squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

“We should know by weekend,” Burke said.

“I was a late arrival [at Oldham], but the boys made me feel welcome and helped me to settle in.

“I had played previously in the Championship with North Wales Crusaders so I knew what to expect – a massive jump from League One in terms of intensity, physicality and speed.

“We set goals that were realistic and achievable and we got to where we wanted to be.

“It’s no secret that Oldham’s budget is a lot less than many of the other clubs in the division so to stay up there, with Swinton, was all the more creditable.

“It was a learning curve for everybody, I think, but there’s no reason why we can’t aim higher next year.”

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