OLDHAM have today received clearance from Australia to play 19-year-old Matthew Fletcher, starting in tomorrow night’s friendly with St Helens at the Vestacare Stadium (7.30pm).
The former Waterhead youngster, who has returnd home after a year playing in Queensland, has signed a two-year contract at Oldham.
He will now be added to Matt Diskin’s original 17-man squad and will be in contention to face a young, but hugely talented Saints squad.
“I think I might be coming off the bench,”
said Fletcher, a forward who was with Bradford Bulls Academy before going to Australia and playing in the Brisbane area.
OLDHAM (from): Aaronson, Abram, Bent, Bridge, Brook, Charnock, Fletcher, Hewitt, Igbinedion, Johnson, Joy, Kay, Langtree, Owen, Spencer, Smith, Wilkinson, Worthington.
Saints play London Broncos on Sunday in a testimonial game but they were keen to get the other members of their first-team squad in action, hence the inclusion of eight of them in the squad to come to Oldham.
Watch out for centre Matt Costello, a 21-year-old who played 11 first-team games last season, and teenage halves Josh Simm and Lewis Dodd.
All eyes too will be on centre or wing Nico Rizzelli, who signed from Rochdale Mayfield and has been given a first-team squad number after only one season in the under-19s.
It isn’t every day a Super League club comes to Oldham, albeit with a hugely talented Select side, so its an opportunity for Oldhamers and all the local youngsters who aspire to reach the sport’s highest level. to take a look at the standards they need to reach.
It’s a good opportunity also for Oldham fans to get behind their team and see how a newly-assembled Championship squad will cope with an up-and-coming side from the outstanding club in the game.
ST HELENS (from): Abel, Rizelli, Costello, Simm, Nisbett, Crook, Dodd, Hazzard, Eaves, Eckley, Batchelor, Weldon, Royle, Nash, Siyani, Davies, Pye, H McDaid, Sambou, Barton, Brooks, K McDaid.
The match at the Vestacare kicks off at 7.30pm. Admission prices £10 for adults and £2 for under-16s with a £2 across-the-board transfer to seats.