Newly appointed Oldham Head Coach Sean Long has said that ‘exciting times’ lie ahead for his side following a busy off-season at Boundary Park.
The Roughyeds have seen a huge overhaul of their squad this season, with the likes of Jordan Turner and Joe Wardle moving from Super League clubs to join the project in Oldham.
Speaking exclusively to Serious About Rugby League, Sean Long has detailed his excitement at the new look squad.
“I want to put a Championship team together that’s good enough for when we get promotion, and that we don’t have to change too much.” he told SARL.
Long also highlighted the team have a blend of youth and experience: “We’ve got a good blend of experience and we’ve got some really good young kids as well. Meeting all the lads, it’s been really good and really exciting times for Oldham.”
Long’s aim of building a Championship quality side in League One is all a part of laying down the foundations for success at Boundary Park; and commenting on this, Long said: “It’s massive. You’ve got to have a squad together.”
He added: “You look at all the best teams in Super League, they’ve been together a long time, you don’t have to tinker with it too much, so we’ve gone down that path.”
“I think it’s vital that we put our system in place straight away in defence and attack, how we want to play with the ball and without the ball, and that won’t change much weekly.”
He further exclaimed: “Then once the lads have been in that system, the year after they’re all used to it, and that’s the cohesion and clarity we want to get with this team.”
Whilst on-field performance has been a big factor behind the new squad at Boundary Park, Long also suggested it allows them to build a new culture behind the scenes.
“I’m massive on culture,” he said. “You only have to look at Wigan, what they’ve done for the culture, what they’ve got down there, Saints previously too.”
“It’s all about culture and the DNA of the club; and standards really, upholding standards within the club, obviously from top to bottom. The standards start from the owners, then myself, then the assistant coaches and then the players; and we then drive the standards to create a good culture.”
Sean Long has high hopes for his squad, however his personal aspirations also mirror that of the club’s directors-namely Rugby League legend Mike Ford and Oldham Owner Bill Quinn.
“What Bill Quinn and Mike Ford have done is really professional,” said Long.
He added: “Obviously we’re trying to tick all the boxes for IMG. We’ve got under-14s, under-15s Oldham lads playing. There’s a lot of good Rugby League players in Oldham that have gone to Wigan, Saints, Leeds, Huddersfield, etc, so it’s a hotbed of Rugby League really, and we want to put it back on the map.”
“I’ve just been a fan of the professionalism of the owners, of the vision they’ve got going forward. That’s what really attracted me to the job.”