GEARING up for their big kick-off in Betfred League 1 in ten days’ time, Oldham RLFC hope to arrange an opposed training session against a Super League academy side.
Preparations for the visit of Workington Town to the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday week, February 17, in the curtain-up to the 2019 season were hit hard by last weekend’s snow and ice.
They caused the cancellation of the Roughyeds’ fourth and final pre-season run-out against Newcastle Thunder which raised concerns that Scott Naylor’s men might have to challenge the fancied Cumbrians having gone three weeks without a game.
Ice-cool head coach Naylor said:
“It’s not ideal, but it is what it is. We can’t control the weather.”
With the Championship season already under way and five League 1 teams in friendly action this weekend, Roughyeds were unable to find any more pre-season opponents after turning over Championship outfits Barrow Raiders and Rochdale Hornets before going down narrowly at Swinton Lions.
They’re now trying for the next best thing — real tackling in an opposed training session — to make sure Naylor’s new-look outfit stays in tip-top shape for the visit of Leon Pryce’s canny Cumbrians.
Like Oldham and Newcastle, Workington have made no secret of their promotion intentions this year and Roughyeds know they will have to kick-off in top gear in order to make a winning start.
Naylor had intended to use 21 players against Thunder — the 20 on duty at Swinton the previous week plus, for the first time this season, centre Danny Grimshaw.
‘Grimmer’ has been battling to beat a hamstring problem but, happily, it looks as though he could be in contention for next week’s big opener.
“We’ve one or two knocks and bumps, but nothing serious,”
added Naylor, who expects to have everyone available apart from long-term casualties Paul Crook and Ben Davies plus the suspended Danny Bridge.