A FIXTURE list that has the WOW FACTOR . . . that was the reaction of everyone in the Oldham camp when games, dates and kick-off times for the 2017 Kingstone Press Championship season were released by the RFL.
“You can look at practically every one of our games and see something special or intriguing,” said upbeat club chairman Chris Hamilton. “We thought last season was great; 2017 has the potential to be even better.”
It all starts with the visit of Sheffield Eagles to Bower Fold on Sunday, February 5 — and before the month is out Scott Naylor’s new-look squad will also have played Featherstone Rovers away, London Broncos at Bower Fold and Hull KR away.
Added Chris: “We’ve got a tough start — like last season — but one way or another everyone involved with the club will be eagerly looking forward to next season.
“We’ve got local derbies, the Toulouse factor, and a few games in which players will be going up against former clubs and former team mates. It’s all going to be very exciting.”
Roughyeds will go to Rochdale on March 12 (potentially facing former team mates in Lewis Palfrey, Gary Middlehurst, Miles Greenwood, David Cookson, Josh Crowley and Jack Holmes) and entertain the old enemy at Bower Fold on July 23 as well as meeting them in the Summer Bash game at Blackpool on Saturday, May 27.
The trip to the south of France to play Toulouse Olympique at Stade Ernest Ageles will be in the Spring, Saturday, April 8 to be precise, and the return game at Bower Fold will take place on Sunday, July 2.
Over Easter, Swinton Lions will be at Bower Fold on Good Friday, April 14 (3pm) and Roughyeds will make the short trip to Halifax on Easter Monday, April 17, for an evening game, kicking off at 7.30pm.
After Good Friday, fans won’t see their favourites in league action at Bower Fold for the next five weeks but then five of the last seven games of the regular season are at home at the height of summer in June and July when Hull KR, Halifax, Toulouse, Featherstone and finally Rochdale will all do battle in ‘Fortress Bower’.
All games will kick-off at 3pm apart from Halifax away (7.30) and Rochdale at Blackpool in Summer Bash (2.30).