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Wilkinson rejects ‘big club’ offers to remain loyal to Oldham

​MATTY Wilkinson has turned down approaches from clubs in the upper reaches of the Betfred Championship to remain loyal to Oldham.

That’s the latest good-news story to emerge from the Roughyeds camp as the club looks forward to its 2019 Betfred League 1 promotion season’s Awards Night in the Vestacare Stadium on Friday.

Tickets are still available, priced £15, and they can be bought online up to 3pm on Wednesday or by cash or cheque only from the Roughyeds office between 10am and 3pm today (Mon) or on Wednesday between the same times.

New head coach Matt Diskin has since praised the hard work and ambition of club chairman Chris Hamilton in getting new deals for quality players over the line, especially those with an opportunity to move elsewhere.

“In some instances he’s faced a lot of competition, but we look to be getting a well-balanced squad together and I’m really pleased at the way things are going,”

said Diskin.

Leigh-lad Wilkinson (23) joined Salford as a boy and went out to North Wales Crusaders on dual reg in 2016 and then to Halifax on a similar arrangement in 2017 before joining Oldham half way through that season when club captain Gareth Owen was ruled out long-term by a freak and very unusual foot injury.

Usually coming off the bench, Wilkinson has been explosive from dummy half over the last two and a half seasons at Oldham, scoring 21 tries in 54 appearances overall.

In last year’s promotion campaign he scored 10 tries in 20 games to finish the year as the club’s fourth highest try scorer behind Danny Langtree (18), Zack McComb (16) and Ritchie Hawkyard (12).

Asked if it was an easy decision to stay at the Roughyeds, he said:

“To be honest I had a few options, some from clubs which are well placed and well established in the Championship.

“It caught me on the hop and took me by surprise because I didn’t think Championship clubs of that standing would have been keeping one eye on what was happening in League 1.

“It was flattering, but I wanted to stay at Oldham and we’re going to be in the Championship ourselves anyway.

“It’s going to be tough, but it’s where we all wanted to be and now we’re there we want to make a good fist of it.

“Some of the other Championship clubs who were interested were what I would call big clubs and I certainly didn’t expect that sort of interest.

“In any event I wanted to stay at Oldham and stick with the lads who got us up. We won promotion together and I want us to have a crack at the Championship together.

“There were some games in League 1 that weren’t too demanding, but we know it won’t be like that in the Championship.”

Diskin, himself a hooker of high repute in a 12-year career with Leeds Rhinos at the top level of the sport, said of Wilkinson:

“He’s been fantastic coming off the bench, displaying speed and energy when jumping out of dummy half.

“He’s a great prospect with a lot more to offer yet. I can see a lot of improvement in him. I’m looking forward to working with him.

“With Gareth Owen there as well we’ve got a lot of quality around the ruck and the whole squad is coming along nicely with other announcements due to be made soon.”



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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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