ROUGHYEDS have deliberately organised a tough programme of pre-season games in which the first three of four are against Championship opposition.
To play Barrow Raiders (away), derby rivals Rochdale Hornets at home in what should be a compelling Law Cup clash and then Swinton Lions away on successive Sundays is a schedule that would severely test any side in League One.
As if that wasn’t enough, rejuvenated Newcastle Thunder come to the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday, February 3 in the fourth and final warm-up encounter — another hit-out that will hopefully attract a sizeable crowd at a time when every head counts.
To make matters even tougher Barrow have just announced the signing of former Salford Red Devils forward Jordan Walne.
And Rochdale have snapped up goalkicking half-back, full-back or hooker Dan Abram (23), who was at Whitehaven last year.
The son of ex-Rochdale and Oldham centre Darren Abram, Dan rejoins his former Haven boss Carl Forster, who is now in charge at Hornets in a player-coach capacity.
Former player Lee Durrant has also returned to the club in the joint roles of team manager and welfare officer.
Scott Naylor is looking to add to his 22-man Oldham squad, which will be denied the services of Danny Bridge until the end of April because of suspension.
It all kicks off for Roughyeds at Barrow next Sunday (January 13) when there could be as many as seven new faces in the squad to travel — Richie Hawkyard, Scott Law, Emerson Whittel, Anthony Bowman, Jamie Greenwood, Ben Calland and Aaron Jones-Bishop.
“We’ve given ourselves a tough pre-season schedule on purpose because we need to get used to that sort of opposition ahead of our first two league games against Workington and Whitehaven,”
said Scott, whose Roughyeds have been tipped by Garry Schofield to finish top and win automatic promotion to the Championship.
Season tickets at discounted prices are on sale until the end of this week (Friday, Jan 11), either online or at the office inside the Vestacare Stadium (cash or cheque), which will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10am to 3pm.
The hope that as many fans as possible will give the club a lift by paying for the season up front cannot be stressed too much.