JACK Spencer, seven games short of 100 in the Oldham RL jersey, has signed a new deal to cover his fifth season at the club.

In his two seasons of Championship rugby, relegation, two seasons of League 1 and then promotion back to the Championship, he’s experienced the highs and lows of life as a Roughyed.

“We’ve had ups and downs, but I’ve enjoyed every twist and turn,” said Spencer, who followed his dad – former assistant coach Lee Spencer – to Oldham ahead of the 2016 Championship campaign.

Like his father before him, Spencer has helped to build the culture, work ethic and special bonding for which the Roughyeds dressing room is renowned.

He’s also spent the last 12 months doing up the house he’s bought in Swinton – that’s as well as working full-time in his father’s fireplace business, training three times a week with Roughyeds and playing on Sundays.

“I’m 28 and right now I feel like 48, but by the time pre-season training starts again I’ll have rested up, had a holiday and be looking forward to starting all over again in a higher division, with a new coach and alongside some new team mates.

“It’s going to be tough in the Championship, but we’ll have the squad to deal with it and to hold our own.

“I hadn’t played in League 1 before 2018 and it was harder than I thought it would be, but only for some of the games. In the rest it was a bit easier.

“The difference this time is that every game will be like a cup final. It will be relentless. And more games too.

“We had a lot of injuries in 2017 but with better luck on that front it should make a big difference this time.

“I go back a long way with (departing coaches) Scott (Naylor) and Peter (Carey), but that’s rugby league; indeed, it’s sport in general. Players and coaches leave and those left behind say their fond farewells and then got on with it.

“Matt (new coach Matt Diskin) will be bringing new ideas and new methods into the club. It’s a fresh start and we’re all looking forward to it.”

Diskin said of Spencer: “He’s the sort of forward every pack needs – hard-working, solid, a quality

player and with a wealth of experience behind him.”

The newly-promoted Roughyeds’ squad-building exercise for life in the Betfred Championship next season has continued with the capture of John Hutchings, a 20-year-old outside back who has played in the St Helens under-19s side for the past three seasons.

Before that, from the age of 14 to 16, he was in the Wigan Warriors scholarship scheme, having previously played at Orrell St James from the age of 10.

“John has decided the system he’s been in doesn’t suit him so he’s come to us on a one-year contract and I’m looking forward to working with him,” said Roughyeds head coach Diskin.

“He’s a big, athletic kid of real promise who can play equally well at centre, wing or second-row.”