OLDHAM boss Scott Naylor has talked of the tough selection decisions he will have to make ahead of Sunday’s Betfred League 1 clash with London Skolars at the Vestacare Stadium (3pm).
Among the players he rested for the third-round Coral Challenge Cup tie against amateurs Haydock last time out were club captain Gareth Owen and half-back and goal-kicker Dave Hewitt.
Full-back Ritchie Hawkyard and centre Danny Grimshaw were carrying knocks so they were left out as a precaution.
On-loan winger Lee Kershaw wasn’t used at the request of his full-time Wakefield Trinity bosses who didn’t want him to become cup-tied in case they needed him in future rounds of the Challenge Cup
Despite these significant omissions Roughyeds cruised through to round four 80-10 with try hat-tricks for Zack McComb and for two of the players who were promoted to the starting line-up, teenage winger Harry Maders and hooker Matty Wilkinson.
Kyran Johnson, in at full-back for Hawkyard, chipped in with two tries and carried off the club’s champagne award for his all-round speed and efficiency.
And to cap it all off Adam Brook stood in as marksman for Hewitt and landed a magnificent 12 goals from 14 attempts in a vicious wind that would have tested the best.
There’s still a slight doubt about Grimshaw and Hawkyard, but Owen, Hewitt and Kershaw, to name but three, will be chomping at the bit to get back into harness.
Naylor’s task will be made slightly easier because of suspensions that rule out Anthony Bowman and Aaron Jones-Bishop, but if ‘Grimmer’ and Hawkyard come through he will still have big decisions to make at full-back, centre and hooker.
Said the Oldham boss:
“There’s a lot of competition for places and that’s what a squad is all about. The lads who came in for the Haydock tie did a great job and were clearly fighting for their places.
“Team selection is down to me and I’ve some tough decisions to make.”