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Player focus — Ben Calland

Our latest player focus is on Ben Calland.

In Ben’s case, rugby league runs in the family and he was thrust into the game at the age of six, following in the footsteps of his older brother Matt, the former Bradford Bulls and Rochdale Hornets player and currently head coach at Hornets.

Ben started as a boy with Haydock Warriors and then Blackbrook, the St Helens community club that has a reputation for producing top-line professionals, before graduating to scholarship schemes at Saints and Wigan and then signing for Salford.

Having signed when he was 18, he had two years with the Red Devils, where he played alongside Liam Bent and Matty Wilkinson.

He then had a season in Australia, playing for Corrimal Cougars, a Country club based in the Illawarra region of New South Wales.

On his return to the UK, he played for Newcastle Thunder but he eventually came to Oldham as it was closer to home and a lot more convenient.

Also, it gave him the opportunity to link up again with Bent and Wilkinson.

Ben’s hero in the rugby world is the former Bradford winger and talented dual-code star Lesley Vainikolo. Ben grew up as a Bradford supporter and, as he says: “Vainikolo was probably the most popular figure in that early-to mid-2000s team.”

In the wider sporting world, boxing legend Muhammad Ali was always a hero to Ben, who has watched all his fights.

In his spare time he listens to Joe Rogan podcasts and also does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to keep himself busy in the off season.

Ben would describe himself as quiet within the team as he ‘prefers to sit and laugh rather than crack the jokes’. He also says he is laid-back and balding. Of the Mr Man series he would be Mr Lazy.

Asked who was his toughest opponent, Ben said: “Jake Connor has gone on to do the best for himself. He is quality.”

If required to take a team mate with him on a desert island he would opt for Matty Wilkinson. He’s known him since under-19s at Salford and “he’s so laid back he wouldn’t panic.”

Thoughts on the season so far?

‘Very inconsistent. We’ve shown glimpses of the quality we possess but there have not been many 80-minute performances. Skolars at home was probably as good as it’s been.

With the players we have, we’re capable of much more.

“It remains to be seen where we’ll finish, obviously dependant on others. All we can do is keep training hard and put together good performances.”

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Club Cash

SINCE Covid-19 caused us to temporarily abandon door-to-door CLUB CASH lottery collections last Spring there’s never been a better time to come on board and help Roughyeds to get through these hugely challenging times.

Why? The £500-a-week rollover jackpot is back — not only that there are now TWO £50 prizes and TWO £25 prizes in addition to the first prize of £1,000, a second prize of £100 and ten consolation prizes of £10.

But the return of the jackpot is the big lottery news. It’s back this week and it’s been won first time out, so next week’s jackpot is again £500 but if nobody touches lucky it will go up to £1,000 the following week and increase by £500 a week, if not won, to a maximum of £10,000.

We have seriously missed the regular income from collections on the doorstep, but we cannot thank too much those supporters who have got behind the club in these unprecedented times of hardship by keeping their Club Cash memberships going or, indeed, by joining for the first time, knowing that for £1 a week they can help the club to combat Covid and prepare with confidence for the challenges of Betfred Championship rugby in 2021.

You can send a cheque to cover a set number of weeks; take out a bank standing order — our preferred option; complete a bank transfer; or pay for several weeks up front by credit or debit card.

You can download a standing order form by clicking on the link at the end of this news release and following the instructions or you can contact our Club Cash administrator John McAndrew (tel: 07980 129541; email: mcandrewj@aol.com) or speak to the club direct on 07904 898177 or email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The easiest way, though, is to download a standing order form below. The latest prize updates are shown on the form as follows (all for £1): £1,000, £100, £50 (2), £25 (2), a number of £10 consolation prizes and the £500-a-week rollover jackpot.

Best of luck!

Download Application Form

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