HALF-BACK Adam Brook, who was available again after a month out with a broken bone in a wrist, is not included in Scott Naylor’s Oldham 19 for today’s clash with Betfred League 1 leaders Whitehaven in the first round of the 1895 Cup at the Vestacare Stadium (3pm).
With no game next Sunday, his omission means he will have another two weeks in which to strengthen up the joint before the visit of Coventry Bears to Oldham on May 19.
‘Haven boss Gary Charlton is also playing safe in team selection.
Papua New Guinea powerhouse Dion Aiye is included in his 19, but the word from the Cumbrian camp is that Aiye, skipper Marc Shackley and livewire half-back Callum Phillips will sit this one out.
Charlton told the local evening paper:
“Gaining promotion is our No 1 target so anyone carrying the slightest knock is being rested.”
Called up into the 19-man squad is club legend Scott McAvoy, a Recreation Ground stalwart who is now on the coaching staff. He will start on the bench.
Also included are fringe men Ruairi McGoff and young Jake Bradley.
Another young player, Sam Dowsett, has just signed a two-year contract extension to his current one-year deal.
The ‘Haven camp is buzzing at present with the team on top of League 1; short-term proposals for the launch of a reserve side next season; and longer-term plans for ambitious stadium development.
Naylor expects a tough, intense encounter with ‘Haven out to avenge their only defeat of the season so far at Oldham on the second weekend of the season back in February.
He sees his ‘Haven counterpart Charlton as a similar type of coach to himself — tough, uncompromising and a boss with a no-nonsense approach.
You can read Naylor’s thoughts on Whitehaven and Charlton in Roughyed Review, our match-day, 24-page magazine which will be on sale inside the ground for £3 and is packed full of club information, including interesting and informative articles by chairman Chris Hamilton and regular contributors and lifelong Roughyeds fans George Cowburn, Michael Turner and Ian Wilson.
George’s son Phil, a Roughyeds’ mascot when he was a boy, plays for West Wales Raiders, while Ian’s son Andy, a well-known journalist, is head of communications at the Rugby Football League.
In colour and imaginatively illustrated with pictures by our media team personnel Dave Murgatroyd and Dave Naylor, the magazine is good value for money and an excellent read for Roughyeds followers.
The teams will go into battle with selections from these squads of 19:
OLDHAM: Liam Bent, Danny Bridge, Paul Crook, Ben Davies, Jamie Greenwood, Titus Gwaze, Ritchie Hawkyard, Dave Hewitt, Jack Holmes, Kyran Johnson, Phil Joy, Danny Langtree, Scott Law, Harry Maders, Zack McComb, Gareth Owen, Jack Spencer, Emmerson Whittel, Matty Wilkinson.
WHITEHAVEN: Sam Forrester, Jordan Burns, Chris Taylor, Jessie Joe Parker, Dave Thompson, Dion Aiye, James Newton, Kris Coward, Sam Dowsett, Connor Holliday, Andrew Bulman, Scott McAvoy, Jake Bradley, Ruairi McGoff, Jason Mossop, Kurt Maudling, Jake Carter, Brett Phillips, Jake Moore.
The Oldham squad includes two former Haven players in goalkicking half-back Paul Crook and front-row forward Ben Davies.
Season tickets are invalid for this all-pay, split gate cup-tie for which admission prices are as follows:
Adults standing £14, concessions £12, under-16s £2; adults sitting, £16, concessions £14, under-16s £5.