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New-boy Whittel in line for Law Cup debut

UPBEAT after their 24-10 win at Championship club Barrow, Oldham RL Club will add new boy Emerson Whittel to the squad for Sunday’s Law Cup clash with derby rivals Rochdale Hornets at the Vestacare Stadium (3pm kick-off).

The former Keighley Cougars back-row forward didn’t play at Craven Park because of a family commitment that was arranged before he signed for Roughyeds, but he was back in training at the club this week.

Head coach Scott Naylor confirmed he will be in contention to step out for a Law Cup debut, adding that Danny Grimshaw might also be in the selection frame after missing the trip to Cumbria because of a hamstring injury.

“We’ll be keeping an eye on Danny and monitoring him during the week, but a final decision will be made later. We don’t want to risk him unnecessarily,”

said the Roughyeds boss.

Six new signings were on view at Barrow so the chances are there will be seven in Sunday’s derby — full-back Richie Hawkyard, winger Aaron Jones-Bishop, half-back Anthony Bowman and forwards Whittel, Scott Law, Jamie Greenwood and Ben Calland.

Local lad Harry Maders, who has signed on trial, is also expected to be given a run after doing well in his two spells on the left wing last week.

Naylor has urged fans to turn up in force to see his new-look side perform at the Vestacare Stadium for the first time.

He said:

“This is no friendly, this is Oldham v Rochdale with all that means for both clubs and both sets of fans.

“It will be passionate, intense and extremely competitive because both clubs are desperate to win.”

Looking back to the five-try win at Barrow, he added:

“Good as it was, when we looked at it afterwards in depth there were a few areas in which we could improve massively.

“That augurs well for the season, if we can win at Barrow knowing we can play a whole lot better.”

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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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