Featherstone Rovers made an all-in effort to make it to Super League during the 2023 season and despite winning the division by 12 points the Flat Cappers fell short in the playoffs, leading to a huge turnover of players and now one of those key men has signed a deal with a new club led by his former coach.
Matty Wildie was one of 17 players to leave Featherstone at the end of the 2023 season but the 33-year-old hooker has already found himself a new home for the upcoming two seasons, signing with Oldham in League One.
The Roughyeds are building a seriously strong side as they aim to escape League One and push into the Championship and the move now sees Wildie reunite with former Featherstone head coach Sean Long and former teammate Craig Kopczak.
Oldham confirmed the signing via their social media channels with the following announcement: “ROUGHYEDS have brought in experienced playmaker Matty Wildie on a two-year deal.
“The hooker arrives at Boundary Park after spending the past two seasons with championship high-flyers Featherstone Rovers.
“A key reason for signing was the chance to play under Sean Long again, Wildie explaining: “I rate Sean massively and I got on very well with him at Featherstone, I’m really looking forward to playing under him again.
He continued: “I’d like to think I’m a leader on the field and I do all the little things right,” he added.
“I’m hoping that a lot of people follow that and, by doing so, I can help bring plenty of success to the club.
“We will have very high standards next season, we want to win every game.
“It will be everybody’s grand final playing us, next year, so it’s important we are on top of our game week in and week out.”
Oldham’s statement added: “Wildie started in the youth ranks of his hometown club, Wakefield, in 2004, before making his first team debut in 2010.
“He spent a further four seasons at Trinity and made 42 appearances before signing for Dewsbury Rams ahead of the 2015 season.
“Wakefield-born Wildie has gone on to make over 250 career appearances and crossed the line on 52 occasions while playing for teams such as Bradford, Leigh and Featherstone.
“He has big game experience, having played in the 2022 1895 Cup Final at Tottenham Hotspur and earlier in 2018 when he helped Rovers win the Championship Shield.
“Most recently, he played a pivotal role in Featherstone securing the Championship League Leaders Shield by 12 points.
“Wildie will link up with former Rovers teammate Craig Kopczak, as well as the rest of the so-far 25-strong squad, this month in preparation for the 2024 season.”