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Owen’s upbeat message to Oldham fans

CLUB captain Gareth Owen has assured Oldham fans that the Roughyeds dressing room is full of players with promotion ambitions and the quality and self-belief to make it happen.

After eight wins in a row injuries began to bite and there followed three narrow defeats in a four-game spell when Owen and his troops seemed to lose form and confidence.

They’re still third in Betfred League 1, however, and well-placed to finish in the play-off four although it’s clearly going to be a neck-and-neck race to the finishing line with several clubs in contention.

Scott Naylor’s men, still primed for a play-off push, are at home to North Wales Crusaders on Sunday (3pm) and hope to have Danny Langtree, Matty Wilkinson, Kyran Johnson and Matt Reid available again after injury.

Owen tweeted:

He hopes to head-up a team performance that will get the Vestacare Stadium rocking.

As a local lad who played his early rugby at Waterhead and cheered on Roughyeds as a boy, captain Owen feels it more than most when things go wrong.

He said:

“We’ve toiled a bit lately and it’s not been good enough. We all know it — fans, players, coaching staff, chairman, everybody.

“But it’s down to us, and only us. When we step over that touch-line it’s only the players who can make a difference and as captain I have to take responsibility too.

“There’s still a lot of rugby to be played (nine games in the regular season) but even so it’s getting to the stage where, as players, we need to stand up and be counted.

“We owe that to club, coach, chairman and all our terrific fans. They might not be many in number but they give us enormous vocal backing every time we turn out.

“We’ve been a bit down lately, but nothing would give us a greater boost than to run out on Sunday to a roar that would tell us our loyal fans are still with us despite their disappointments of late.

“We’ve had a poor run of form but we’re still fancying our chances of getting in the play-offs and then going all the way.

“We still believe we can chase down York for second place (that’s top of the play-off four), but if it doesn’t happen and we finish third, fourth or even fifth the feeling in the dressing room is that we can pull it off so long as we qualify.

“We won’t be fazed by anyone in a one-off, sudden-death game, home or away, and that’s a genuine belief.

“Don’t forget that, earlier in the season, we won at Whitehaven and at Workington — how many other teams have done that ? — and we beat Halifax at The Shay in the Ladbrokes’ Challenge Cup.

“Right now, we are just focusing on North Wales and we hope we put on a big show in front of a sizeable crowd.

“We need to turn things round, starting Sunday, and I can’t stress enough how much better we feel as individuals and as a team when we have a lot of support inside the ground.

“Over the next nine weeks our rivals will be taking points off each other. It was always going to be a hugely-competitive division so we can’t afford to get too down on ourselves when we hit a bad patch.

“It happened to us, with injuries, and it’s quite likely to hit our rivals also.

“Our aim now is to win every game to the end of the season, but our rivals will have similar targets so it’s all to play for and we’ll see what happens.

“At Keighley we weren’t clinical enough with the ball at their end of the field and at our end we made too many mistakes and gave away too many penalties. They punished us with penalty goals.

“It wasn’t lack of effort or poor attitude. Sometimes, there is no explanation for these things.

“We need our fans more than ever before, starting this Sunday.”

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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

Download Application Form

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