Roughyeds sign Emmerson Whittel

Oldham have signed former Bradford Bulls, Gloucester All Golds, and Keighley Cougars forward Emmerson Whittel.

The 24-year-old, who has penned a one-year deal with the club, arrives at the Vestacare Stadium having departed the Cougars in a bid to revive his injury-struck career.

Whittel becomes the third Cougars player to sign for the Roughyeds, following the recent arrivals of former teammates Richie Hawkyard and Scott Law.

After completing the move, Roughyeds boss, Scott Naylor failed to contain his delight.

“We’ve done our homework on Emmerson and we’ve heard nothing but good things about him,” said Naylor.

“He’s a tough, gritty lad — just the sort we like at Oldham. He’ll be training with us for the first time tonight [Tuesday] and I’m sure he’ll fit in really well.

“He’s another new signing in a squad that’s looking increasingly strong and exciting.”

The second-rower kick-started his career at Halifax-based Kings Cross Park, before being spotted by Odsal scouts at the age of 13.

He spent several years with the Bulls, a spell where he would scoop up an under-19s player-of-the-year award and make his Super League debut in a meeting with London Broncos in September 2014, but would suffer two unfortunate injuries upon his move to Cougar Park.

Firstly, in February 2017, Whittel sustained a broken jaw following an altercation during a Challenge Cup meeting with Fryston Warriors; an injury which consequently resulted in a two-and-a-half month lay-off.

Then just nine games into his comeback, cruelly, he then tore an anterior cruciate knee ligament, which required another long-term spell on the sidelines and a major knee reconstruction.

Determined to rebuild his career with the Roughyeds, Whittel said: “I’ve played half a dozen games since the operation and I’ve been fine.

“I’m fully recovered. In my first game back I did the full 80 and didn’t have any trouble at all, either with my general fitness or the specifics of the injury.

“My Dad’s a brickie and I’ve been doing a lot of work with him which has helped with my fitness. I’ve also put a lot of effort into other programmes.

“When I returned to team training I was just as fit as anybody else and after a good pre-season at Oldham I’m going to be buzzing.”