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Oldham land a third Siddal player in utility back Joe Martin

OLDHAM have completed a third signing from NCL premier division side Siddal with the capture on a one-year deal of 22-year-old utility back Joe Martin.

His decision to sign a Roughyeds contract for 2018 follows similar moves by his ex-Siddal team mates Zack McComb and Ben West, with whom Martin played in that memorable 2017 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup third-round tie against Toronto Wolfpack.

Toronto won 14-6, but the plaudits went to the Halifax-based amateurs, for whom McComb and Martin played in the centres with West on the wing.

All three have been training with Roughyeds since the start of pre-season last November and it was always in the hope that they would be offered deals.

Said head coach Scott Naylor:

“Joe was the last of three Siddal lads to sign and we’re delighted he has. He can play in a few positions and he has a good understanding of everything we are trying to do. His skill levels are good too.

“He’s now got an opportunity to earn some game time and the rest is down to him.”

His preferred position is full-back, but he can also play centre or in the halves if the need arises.

Martin played at Siddal until he was 17 when he signed for home-town Halifax, making his senior debut at full-back in the last game of the 2014 season against Dewsbury Rams at The Shay. 

He also played two games for Newcastle Thunder on loan that season, one of them against Roughyeds at Gateshead’s International Stadium.

In the following year, he went out on loan to Gloucester All Golds, playing nine games, including a memorable one against Roughyeds at Whitebank where he played full-back and scored a 14th-minute try as the All Golds frightened the champions elect to death before going down 33-30.

On returning to The Shay he played in his biggest game so far when Halifax named him at full-back for the visit of Salford Red Devils in the late-season Super 8s. Salford won 50-28.

Things didn’t progress as he had hoped, however, and by 2017 he was back where it all began at Siddall.

Then came the opportunity to train and trial at Oldham with McComb and West and he was delighted to join them and push for a new beginning in the pro game.

Said Joe:

“Coming from an amateur background we were a bit different to most of the other lads at Oldham and it would have been easy to dismiss us. In fact, just the opposite was the case. From the day we arrived we were looked after and made to feel welcome and it was that, more than anything else, that convinced me that I wanted to sign if given that chance.

“I’m really enjoying life at Oldham and I’m hoping to get some game time pretty soon.

“When the time comes it will then be up to me to grab the opportunity with both hands and stake a claim to make a first-team spot my own.”

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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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