NATHAN Chappell may be in contention to make his Oldham debut in Sunday’s Law Cup game at Bower Fold after putting in a full training session last night.
The former Sheffield Eagles centre or back-row forward (27), a new signing, hasn’t played in either of the Roughyeds’ pre-season games up to now while in rehab after a knee operation.
Danny Grimshaw, in a similar situation after groin surgery, also trained flat out last night, raising hopes that he may get his first run-out of the year.
“Both of them will be in contention for Sunday if they suffer no adverse affects and are able to do another full session on Thursday,” said coach Scott Naylor.
He confirmed that Michael Ward and Gareth Owen, who didn’t play at Barrow, would also be in the running to face derby rivals Rochdale Hornets (3pm kick-off).
On the flip side, Liam Thompson (back), Adam Clay (knee), Ben Davies (back) and Joe Burke (foot) didn’t train last night, but Clay and Davies were each held back as a precaution and will be assessed again by the medical team tomorrow night.
Burke has had an x-ray and the club is now waiting for a report from the radiologist. The Welsh prop travelled to Barrow last Sunday, but complained of pain in his foot before the game and withdrew from the squad.
Danny Langtree (hamstring) is progressing well while on intense rehab and might be back for the first Championship game at Bower Fold against Sheffield Eagles on February 5.
Craig Briscoe, who will miss most, if not all, of the season, will have a major knee reconstruction next week, after which he will do much of his rehab at the Roughyeds’ partner club, Huddersfield Giants.
Looking ahead to the Rochdale game, which he expects to be a typically full-on derby battle, Naylor said the mood in the Roughyeds camp was upbeat and positive.
He added: “We talked about one or two things from the Barrow game. What concerned me most was the amount of time Barrow spent near our line, but a lot of our stats were better than they were at Swinton and we’ll be looking to improve again on Sunday.”
* STARTING this year, Oldham’s last home game of the season will become a memorial match at which to remember and respect people with club connections, including supporters, who have died during the previous 12 months.
The Rev Tony Ford, club chaplain, explained: “We are getting an ever-increasing number of requests, including many from supporters, to have a minute’s silence on match days in memory of departed loved ones.
“The club is keen to pay its respects to everybody, be they players, supporters or club officials, and after much discussion we felt the most dignified way to do that was to set aside a match at the end of each season, at which we will name all the individuals concerned and give thanks for their lives.”
Club chairman Chris Hamilton added: “This will enable club, fans and relatives to properly pay respects in the traditional manner before kick-off at a specific game set aside for that purpose. We can name those who have died in the match-day programme, announce them over the public address system and make the last match of the season a fitting memorial to those who have left us during the year.
“All we ask is that people contact the club to provide relevant details so everything can be prepared in readiness for the final home game of the season.”