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Charnock, Fletcher can sit back and relax

WHILE lots of rugby league players are sweating right now — literally in this pandemic heat wave — on getting new contracts for 2021 and beyond, two members of Oldham’s squad in this ill-fated year of the virus can take a deep breath, relax and leave all the contractual to-ing and fro-ing to others.

Stand-off Lewis Charnock and young play-anywhere forward Matthew Fletcher are already contracted to Roughyeds for another year, to November 30, 2021 to be precise, so they can reflect on Roughyeds’ tough start to the 2020 Betfred Championship campaign and look ahead with confidence to a more successful resumption in 2021.

To date, they are joined on the 2021 roster by Danny Langtree and new-boy Tyler Dupree, a young prop from Leeds Rhinos. Clearly, there will be a lot more white smoke in the days and weeks ahead, continuing at 7pm tomorrow (Friday) evening with news of another big capture.

Matty Fletcher and Lewis Charnock

Charnock and Fletcher, to name but two, will be chomping at the bit to know how the new squad is starting to shape-up and how soon it will be before the players can meet up again for group training in preparation for the 2021 campaign.

“We haven’t been given any dates yet,” said Charnock, “but I can’t wait to get back into the groove. Lockdown was a bit of a novelty in the first week or two, but as time went on it was just a bore. It was really hard to adjust to it.”

An electrician by trade, Charnock  (25) can’t wait to get the ball in his hands again, even in training.

“I’ve been working right through it so I’m a lot luckier than the majority of people,” he added, “but even so it’s been a long time between matches. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we will hear something soon about training again,”

One of the youngest players at the club, 20-year-old Fletcher has also been lucky in terms of continuing with his day job during the pandemic. He works at care centres in Limehurst Village and Denton, helping people who have learning difficulties and autism.

He normally operates in a full-time capacity at Denton and only casually in Limehurst Village, but during the pandemic he’s been at Limehurst every day.

“I love the job and I’ve been doing it since I was 17,” he added. “It’s very rewarding. I have an elder brother Scott (27) who has autism, so it’s something I’ve grown up with. That helps me in my job.

“As for rugby, I was training really hard on my own and working particularly hard to get my shoulder right. I took a knock on it at Widnes, if you remember.

“I’ve built my own gym at home, which is on the hills above Lees, and I was doing a lot of work in there but I have to admit that I lost a bit of motivation when it was announced that this season would be classed as null and void and we wouldn’t be playing again until next year.

“I can’t wait to start training again with everyone else. There’s no substitute for that. I signed for the club late and I’m the first to admit I didn’t have an amazing start and then I did my shoulder which also set me back.

“In short, I know I can do a lot better than anything I’ve done so far. I’ve got a point to prove.”



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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.

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