By Roger Halstead

oldhamsport@nqnw.co.uk

LIAM Bent is never going to top Oldham’s stats in tries scored, metres made or chances created.

But will he ever be beaten in the tackle count? Quite simply – no.

The Roughyeds’ 22-year-old second-row or loose-forward is a well-oiled tackling machine in pristine condition; a workaholic who measures his personal success purely on the number of tackles he makes.

Most players love the glamorous, crowd-pleasing stuff.

Not ‘Benty’, who prides himself, astonishingly, on contributing more than 1,000 tackles to Oldham’s promotion triumph last season.

No wonder incoming boss Matt Diskin couldn’t hide his delight when announcing that lean, mean Liam was the latest member of last season’s squad to nail his colours to the Roughyeds mast for at least another year.

He’s signed a one-year contract to take him into his fourth season at Oldham and to become the 14th player on contract to the club for the 2020 Championship season at Bower Fold, in Stalybridge.

“He’s got a great pedigree and he’s an absolute workhorse,” said Diskin.

“Players like ‘Benty’ are a bit under-rated at times, but not by fellow players and coaches.

“You can’t put a value on somebody who does so much tackling in every game. It’s an understatement to say I’m looking forward to working with the lad.”

A Wiganer, Bent arrived at Oldham on loan from Salford midway through the 2017 Championship season.

He was gutted to be released by the Red Devils at the end of that season, but Salford’s loss was Oldham’s gain when he then became a fully-fledged Oldham player.

He played in 24 of Roughyeds’ 26 games in all competitions last season.

He doesn’t have his tackle counts for three of those games but in the other 21 he made 967 tackles – an amazing feat of endurance if nothing else.

That averages out at 46 a match or 1,104 tackles over the course of his 24-game season, a phenomenal record.

Voted by fans as their player of the year in 2018, Bent looked ahead to the 2020 Championship campaign and said: “It’s going to be tough but we’re all up for it.

“It will bring us even closer together, a bit like ‘us v the rest of the world’ if you know what I mean.

“There are bound to be times when we’re on the receiving end but when that happens we’ll take it on the chin and vow to do better the following week. The fans will stick with us whatever happens and in return we’ll give our utmost in every game.”