OLDHAM have added to what is already a strong pack of forwards for 2021 with the capture of Bradford’s 23-year-old front or back-row forward Liam Kirk.

He is the Roughyeds’ ninth new player in readiness for the resumption of Betfred Championship rugby next year, five of whom are big, strong forwards in Luke Nelmes, Martyn Reilly, Tyler Dupree, Shaun Pick and Liam Kirk, who stands 6ft 4in and weighs in at 16 and a half stones.

Leeds-lad Kirk, who has been at the Bulls since joining their scholarship programme when he was 16, has signed a one-year deal at Oldham and wishes to make it clear that he is coming here “to achieve something”.

He has worked previously under Matt Diskin at academy level at Odsal and that was significant in his decision to cross the Pennines for his rugby because he believes in ‘Disco’ and in his ability to establish Oldham as a Championship club.

After 82 senior games at Odsal, and still only 23, he’s not coming to make up the numbers.

Said Kirk: “I’ve been at Bradford for a few years and I’m looking for a new challenge.

"I want something different in my life.

"At the same time, I’m only 23 and I’ve got years in the game ahead of me so I’m looking to achieve something as well.

“We want to be challenging for things. I know Disco well from our time together at Bradford.

"It’s the right time for me to be moving on and I think Oldham is the right place for me to be.”

Head coach Diskin said he had admired Kirk since he first arrived at Odsal as a teenager.

He added: “He was in my academy team for a number of years and he’s a terrific forward.

"Until you work with him you don’t appreciate his quality. He’s an experienced, talented forward and I make no secret of the fact that I’ve tried to sign him previously.

“I’m absolutely delighted to get him on board this time and I know he’ll slot easily and comfortably into our squad and do exceptionally well.”

As a boy, Kirk played at Drighlington ARLFC, situated between Leeds and Bradford, and then signed for the Bulls as a scholar before working his way through the Bulls youth development systems to hit the first team in 2016.

All but six of his 82 first-team games for the Bulls came in the Championship and League One.