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We can go okay in the Championship — Ritchie

RITCHIE Hawkyard, man of the match in the Betfred League 1 promotion decider against Newcastle Thunder, has tipped Oldham to go well next season in a 14-team Championship.

“If we play with the enthusiasm and the togetherness we’ve had this year we’ll go okay,”

said the veteran full-back, who will be 34 by the time next season starts.

Oldham’s opponents in 2020 will be London Broncos, Toulouse Olympique, York City Knights, Leigh Centurions, Featherstone Rovers, Bradford Bulls, Sheffield Eagles, Halifax, Swinton Lions, Batley Bulldogs, Widnes Vikings, Dewsbury Rams and Whitehaven.

Hawkyard said the Promotion Final, in which Roughyeds won through with an 18-14 triumph against the Tynesiders, was a terrific advertisement for League 1.

He himself had a brilliant game despite pulling a calf muscle in the Captain’s Run on the day before the game and then damaging both an ankle and his back in the first half.
He added:

“My body’s broken. I’m 33 now and as far as the future is concerned I’ll have to give it a lot of thought.

“Even before I came to Oldham there was a place in my heart for Roughyeds where my uncle Colin played years ago. He often told me Oldham was a good club. He said they looked after their players and they had great fans. He was right.

“I always wanted to finish my career at Oldham and win something, like I did at Swinton and Keighley, and I did it in a side that it was a pleasure to play in.
“Colin was right about the fans. They’ve been terrific all season, our 18th man.

“The lads who are retiring or leaving have had a terrific send-off thanks to our win in this Grand Final.

“Thunder are an excellent side with some very good players. They got on the front foot but we wouldn’t go away. It was a great performance and a great match — an excellent advert for League 1.”

One of the players who is leaving the club is prop Scott Law who, at 34, is the oldest member of the squad. He is emigrating to Australia with his family .

Said chairman Chris Hamilton:

“Scott came to us after nine years at Keighley and he’s been an absolute rock.

“He was player of the season at Keighley last year and it was easy to see why — all this season he played for us as a no-nonsense, no frills type of prop. He knew only one way to play and one way to go, tough and direct.

“It goes without saying that we wish him and his family all the best in Australia.”

Said Law:

“It’s been a great season on which to sign off. To finish on a high like this is something I’ll always remember. A big thank-you to everyone at Oldham for giving me that opportunity.”

Office Hours

Now that the season and the pre-final rush are over, fans are reminded that the club will go back to its usual office hours which are 10am to 3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The office phone number is 07904 898177 and you can email us at: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

Watch the website and our social media platforms for news and views about the club as we plan ahead for life in the Championship next year.

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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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