AFTER weeks of hard endeavour and negotiation, Oldham RLFC chairman Christopher Hamilton and head coach Matt Diskin have kickstarted the club's squad-building programme for 2021 by retaining star second-row man Danny Langtree and snapping up highly sought-after young prop Tyler Dupree from Diskin's old club, Leeds Rhinos.

In both cases, Oldham had to fight off competition from rival clubs in the Betfred Championship, talks ending with Langtree signing a new two-year contract and 20-year-old Dupree putting pen to paper on a one-year deal.

Now aged 29, and having been at Oldham since he was 19, Langtree revealed that a few other clubs had again spoken to him but he never had any intention of leaving Oldham for a second time.

He went full-time to Super League club Hull FC, briefly, but after missing the first seven Oldham games of the 2019 promotion season, he was soon back at the Vestacare Stadium, picking up where he had left off and scoring 18 tries in 18 games as Roughyeds won promotion to the Betfred Championship for 2020.

He re-signed until the end of the 2020 season, but with that campaign now abandoned because of the Covid-19 pandemic he has committed his future to Roughyeds until November 2022, by which time he will be 31 with 10 seasons of first-team rugby at Oldham behind him and, most likely, more than 200 Roughyeds games on his CV.

He has currently scored 89 tries and 356 points in 172 games for the club, having made his senior debut in a 28-18 home win over Workington Town on August 19, 2012. He was 21.

The team that day was: Greenwood; Onyango, Cookson, Ward, Brocklehurst; Neil Roden, Dallimore; Boults, Thompson, Acton, Noone, Smith. Clarke. Subs: Langtree, Clough, Stenchion, Gilchrist.

The up-and-coming Langtree was given his first senior run by caretaker boss Martin Roden, who was put in temporary charge following the departure of head coach Tony Benson, the New Zealander.

Scott Naylor's seven-year reign in charge was to start soon afterwards and from then on Langtree never looked back, going from strength to strength and establishing himself as one of the best second-row men outside the top flight.

After completing his latest deal, Langtree said: "I've always been happy at Oldham, always. When this new deal expires, I'll have completed 12 years at Oldham. I couldn't have been at a better club.

"A few others spoke to me but I told them all the same; that I left Oldham once before and I was never really happy there. I had no intention of doing it again.

"Now I'm looking forward to another two good years. We hadn't been going long with Disco (new head coach Matt Diskin) when lockdown put an end to the 2020 season. We didn't really get a crack at it (the Championship).

"We've had no time together either for the last few months so we'll benefit a lot from the time we have as a group in the build-up to next season.

"Once we've done that, and once the new squad is in place, we should be able to get to where we want to be."

In the six seasons between 2013 and 2018 inclusive, Langers never had a year when he played fewer than 23 games and he played in two Grand Finals, a Promotion Final and a Play-Off Final, effectively figuring in four finals, two of which led to promotion from tier-three to tier-two in 2015 and 2019.

Matt Diskin said: "To re-sign Langers for another two years is a real coup for the club.

"He's a fantastic threat out wide. I rate him, without doubt, as one of, if not the best second-rower in the Championship.

"We massively under-used him in our six games earlier on this year. We didn't give him anything like enough good ball and we will be working hard on rectifying that in the build-up and in the preparation for next season.

"He needs the ball in his hands to do what he does best, which is to provide us with a massive strike force on the edges.

"As for young Tyler Dupree, he's a very talented prop, who has reaped the benefit of coming through the system at Leeds. He's a bit of maturing to do, but what a talent.

"He has loads of ability with the rugby world at his feet. We've had to face a lot of competition for this boy and that says an awful lot about him and his potential.

"I've no doubt that if he applies himself well with us he will be back in Super League within a couple of years.

"More signings will be announced soon, including some new ones, and I'm really excited about the way things are going behind the scenes."

A Halifax boy, Dupree went to Salford Red Devils on scholarship and ultimately to Leeds where he starred in the Academy and had loan spells with Featherstone, York and Batley after earning a place in the Rhinos first-team squad.

He said: "I was soon to be out of contract at Leeds, and as soon as I spoke to Matt Diskin over a coffee I knew that Oldham was the club for me. Everything he said aligned with my own thoughts and ambitions and I am really looking forward to meeting up with all my new team mates and getting ready for next season."