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Stand by for changes as Scott goes for ‘fresh legs’

FANS can expect changes in the line-up when Roughyeds play their second home game in a row against Whitehaven at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (3pm).

In-form Zack McComb (ankle) and hard-working Jack Spencer (knee) picked up knocks in the thrilling 32-28 defeat by Workington Town last week.

They will have fitness checks on Thursday night but whatever the outcome of those, Scott Naylor may opt for some “fresh legs” — his words — in order to take advantage of having a 25-man squad.

Six are available who didn’t play against Workington — forwards Ben Calland, Ben Davies and Jamie Greenwood plus backs Kyran Johnson, Danny Grimshaw and Harry Maders.

Calland, Greenwoood, Johnson and Maders figured in the pre-season games, but neither Grimshaw nor Davies has laced up a pair of boots in earnest since the early part of last Autumn because of injury.

“I’ve got lads queuing up to get a game,” said the Oldham boss, “and the longer they don’t play the tougher it will be for them when opportunity knocks.

“Any changes I make will definitely not be a reflection of the defeat by Town, but merely to use the benefits of having strength in depth within the squad.

“I’ve got lads who need game-time, simple as that, so I might go for some fresh legs on Sunday.”

Naylor and his players are hoping fans will stick with them and again turn up in numbers as they did last week.

It wasn’t a massive crowd (765) but it was the second best at the Vestacare since the the promotion season of 2015 and one that was welcomed by club officials and players like.

Said Naylor:

“It was a pity we couldn’t get them a first-day win but I am sure this is the best squad I’ve had in my seven years at the club, both in terms of quality and depth.

“This Sunday’s game is even more important to us after last week’s slip because we can’t afford to lose two home games out of two when we’ve only got ten to start with.

“There is no margin for error in a 20-game season.”

After watching the incident on video of the last-gasp disallowed try that cost Oldham the game last week, Naylor has conceded that the referee got it right when ruling that Anthony Bowman was offside when collecting Adam Brook’s kick and crossing the Town line to touch down.

He said:

“It was a close thing but I think it was the right call. Had the roles been reversed I would certainly have been shouting for offside.”

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Club Cash

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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