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First Betts, now Finnigan as Thunder look to the future

​OLDHAM will be aiming to be party poopers at Kingston Park, Newcastle on Sunday (3pm) when Thunder celebrate their 20th birthday with new head coach Simon Finnigan in charge for the first time.

The former assistant at Toronto Wolfpack joins ambitious Thunder as Jason Payne’s successor only three weeks after the North-East club named Denis Betts as director of rugby.
Finnigan (37) was coached by Betts at Widnes Vikings when he was a player.

Betts is quoted about the appointment on Thunder’s website. He said:

“Simon is an ideal fit for Thunder both in terms of where we are at and the club’s ambitions.

“He has earned a lot of credibility in his time at Toronto. He wanted to become a head coach and it was an opportunity we could give him in an environment with ambitions which match his own.”

Finnigan will take his first training sessions at Newcastle this week and then take charge on Sunday, seeking to get his first job as a head coach off to a flying start.

After playing for Widnes, Salford, Bradford, Huddersfield and Leigh, he cut his teeth in coaching at Leigh Sports Village and then followed Paul Rowley across the Atlantic in 2017 to be part of the Wolfpack’s first coaching panel.

He has been an integral part of Wolfpack’s success ever since, working first under Rowley and, more recently, alongside Brian McDermott.

Anthony Bowman and Aaron Jones-Bishop will be free from suspension to return to Oldham’s side, as will on-loan Lee Kershaw who didn’t play against Widnes Vikings because that would have ruled him out of playing for his parent club Wakefield Trinity if needed later in the competition.

On the injury front the medical team will be checking at training tonight on Ben Davies, Matty Wilkinson, Danny Grimshaw, Harry Maders and Titus Gwaze.

Newcastle’s last two games have both resulted in narrow defeats at Workington Town, 32-30 in Betfred League 1 and 21-20 in the Coral Challenge Cup when a late drop goal by Jamie Doran proved decisive.

Mo Agoro and on-loan Kieran Gill, who have both played for Roughyeds in the past, were part of Thunder’s back division.



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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

Download Application Form

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