Oldham have moved to sign young second-rower or centre Josh Crowley from Widnes.
Crowley, 21, has landed a one-year deal at the Whitebank Stadium having been released by the Vikings following the re-structuring of the academy structure by the RFL.
He becomes coach Scott Naylor’s first signing, and joins Neil Roden as the only other player on Oldham’s roster for 2013.
Crowley said: “I made good progress at Widnes in three years there, but then came the decision to do away with the under-20s. They assessed everybody individually and I was told I wasn’t quite ready for stepping up to Super League.
“They released me and Oldham were in right away.
“I spoke to the chairman (Chris Hamilton) and I was impressed by his ambition for the club which was tempered with honesty and realism.
“His goals for the club mirrored the ones I want for myself. He was honest with me — I know I haven’t joined the wealthiest club in the game, but I think I’ve joined one that’s heading in the right direction and will give me the opportunity to advance my career and realise my personal goals.”
Warrington-born Crowley signed for his hometown club from local amateurs Crosfields as a 15-year-old, before asking for a release at the age of 18 and moving on to Widnes.
He played for Widnes against Oldham in the 2011 reserves’ Championship Grand Final, and has also played at prop during his young career.
Coach Naylor said: “I’m delighted he has joined us. Hopefully, it will be the start of something good for both himself and the club.”