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Diskin named as new head coach

​FORMER Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls hooker Matt Diskin has arrived at Oldham as the club’s new head coach on a two-year contract.

The Roughyeds have unveiled 37-year-old Diskin as boss to succeed Scott Naylor, whose seven-year stint ended with a Promotion Final win against Newcastle Thunder that elevated Oldham into the Betfred Championship next season.

As a player Diskin made 312 Super League appearances — 232 for Leeds between 2001 and 2010 and 80 for Bradford between 2011 and 2014 when he announced his retirement as a player.

At Odsal he cut his teeth in coaching with the under-19s and as an assistant on the first-team coaching panel.

He then took on his first head coach role at Championship club Batley Bulldogs where he signed a three-year deal which came to its conclusion at the end of this season.

“I learned a lot in my three seasons at Batley and I’m still learning,” said Diskin.

“Scott Naylor has done a fantastic job here and now the baton has been handed over to me to build on that and to turn Oldham into a long-term Championship side.

“It’s going to be tough, but it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to.”

Club chairman Chris Hamilton said rugby league’s worst-kept secret was now out and he was proud and delighted to have Diskin on board for a minimum of two years.

He added:

“Matt is the first to admit that his first head coach’s role at Batley was a learning curve for him and that he is still learning, which is what you would expect.

“Among many other things, we were impressed in interview by his honesty because that’s the sort of club we are.

“There’s lots of hard work to be done now. We didn’t know until last Sunday which division we would be in next season.

“We’ve already started that work and Matt will have the full backing and support of the club.

“He joins us at a time when we’re moving up a division and the three years he has already experienced as a head coach at Championship level — and the lessons he has learned — will stand him in good stead.”

Diskin will have much more to say about his new job on this Roughyeds website tomorrow.

First time in the Vestacare dug-out . . . Matt Diskin with club chairman Chris Hamilton.

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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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