GARRY Schofield has tipped Roughyeds to win Betfred League One in 2019 and thus win automatic promotion to the Championship.
The rugby league pundit and former Great Britain legend writes a weekly column in League Express.
Headlined ‘Oldham to win League 1’, his latest piece looks at the prospects of each of the 11 clubs and places them in the order he expects them to finish.
Oldham take pride of place at No 1, followed (in this order) by Workington Town, Doncaster, Newcastle Thunder, Hunslet, Whitehaven, North Wales Crusaders, Coventry Bears, Keighley Cougars, London Skolars, West Wales Raiders.
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He gives a brief run-down on each club’s prospects and said of Oldham:
“I like the way Scott Naylor coaches., so I’m expecting big things of him in 2019.
“The Roughyeds are tough defensively and they like to get ripped in. They’ve got good half-backs who like to move the ball around nicely.
“They pushed York and Bradford very close in consecutive weeks towards the end of last season so they will fear no-one in League One.”
We were involved in two cracking. close games with York, home and away, but we fell to a 47-0 defeat at Bradford in the play-off semi-final — a result that was completely out of character for a Roughyeds squad that could boast one of the best defensive records in the division.
We lost several games by tight margins and that was maybe because we were a young squad with few old heads and we were a little bit short of experience when it came down to the nitty gritty.
Judging by the players we’ve signed during the close season it would appear there has been a conscious decision to make the squad more street-wise.
You can see the new boys for the first time at Barrow on Sunday, January 13. but most fans will no doubt wait for the eagerly-awaited Law Cup clash with derby rivals Rochdale Hornets at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday, January 20, kick-off 3pm.
It will be the first Law Cup game in Oldham for several years. We will be defending the silverware we won at the Crown Oil Arena last year following Rochdale’s 2017 win at Stalybridge.
Scott knows that our fans are passionate about any game against our neighbours and he says this one will be no different.
It should be a cracker between two new-look squads and featuring a Hornets side that has a new coach in former Whitehaven boss Carl Forster.
“After weeks of training with nothing to show for it at the end of the week, we’ll soon be in game mode.
“Training can be a bit boring when you’re slogging away with nothing at the end of it but when you start playing games the focus switches and tyhe lads have something to look forward to at the weekend.
“There’s a different feel to training when the pre-season games are about to get under way.”