Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


Kenny Hughes faces injury lay-off

OLDHAM hooker Kenny Hughes goes into hospital on Monday for surgery on a finger injury that troubled him for much of last season.

He will be available for Sunday’s second pre-season friendly at Barrow (2pm kick-off), but he is then expected to be sidelined for two to three weeks, which means he will miss the third and final warm-up match against Keighley Cougars at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday, January 28 (3pm kick-off).

Roughyeds hope Hughes will be ready for the start of the Betfred League 1 campaign at Whitehaven on Sunday, February 18 (3pm), but that won’t be known until nearer the time.

Club captain Gareth Owen (foot) and young back-rower Liam Bent (dislocated elbow) will miss the Barrow and Keighley friendlies, but Phil Joy is likely to play at Barrow for the first time since he suffered a second dislocation of the shoulder against Batley Bulldogs last summer.

Coach Scott Naylor hasn’t yet confirmed his squad to travel to Barrow. At his disposal will be 19 contracted players plus five trialists who have been training with the squad throughout pre-season, including winger Chris Barlow, who made a try-scoring debut in the impressive 28-24 Law Cup win at Rochdale.

Naylor’s preference in this type of pre-season hit-out is for a squad of no more than 20 or 21, but the final number to travel might be influenced by what Barrow intend to do.

Said the Roughyeds boss: “A squad of more than 20 or 21 can get a bit out of hand, but the five amateurs have been with us since last November and they deserve a run-out.”

Looking ahead to the game, he added: “I think we can expect the toughest challenge we’ve ever had up there, and that suits me just fine. The reason I like a warm-up game at Barrow is that it’s always a place that challenges visiting players.

“We’ve got the longish journey to Cumbria and then the prospects of playing in bad weather, all of which will test our lads. That’s what I want. I want them to be tested so I can see what the lads have underneath the jersey. That’s what these games are for.”

Barrow, preparing for life in the Betfred Championship, beat Keighey Cougars 46-20 in their first run-out and will be determined to build on that with the Championship season due to kick-off in a fortnight.

Added Naylor: “On our last two trips to Barrow we’ve been the Championship side and they’ve been in League 1, but we’ve swopped positions in the structure and they’ll want to make that count, especially as they’re only two weeks away from the start of their league programme.”

The Raiders left out new skipper Martin Aspinwall, Shane Toal, Ryan Fieldhouse, Lewis Charnock and Karl Ashall against the Cougars, but they’re expected to figure on Sunday along with new Aussie signings Alex Susino and Dean Parata.


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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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