Oldham RLFC

The Roughyeds


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.

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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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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