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Big Liam Kirk From the Bulls Comes in to Add Even More Pack Power

OLDHAM RLFC is delighted to confirm that it has added to what is already a strong pack of forwards for 2021 with the capture of Bradford’s 23-year-old front or back-row forward Liam Kirk.

Liam Kirk
Liam Kirk

He is the Roughyeds’ ninth NEW signing in readiness for the resumption of Betfred Championship rugby next year, five of whom are big, strong forwards in Luke Nelmes, Martyn Reilly, Tyler Dupree, Shaun Pick and now Liam Kirk, who stands 6ft 4in and weighs in at 16 and a half stones.

Leeds-lad Kirk, who has been at the Bulls since joining their scholarship programme when he was 16, has signed a one-year deal at Oldham and wishes to make it clear that he is coming here “to achieve something”.

He has worked previously under Matt Diskin at academy level at Odsal and that was significant in his decision to cross the Pennines for his rugby because he believes in ‘Disco’ and in his ability to establish Oldham as a genuine Championship club.

After 82 senior games at Odsal, and still only 23, he’s not coming to make up the numbers.

Said Kirk:

“I’ve been at Bradford for a few years and I’m looking for a new challenge. I want something different in my life. At the same time, I’m only 23 and I’ve got years in the game ahead of me so I’m looking to achieve something as well.

“We want to be challenging for things. I know Disco well from our time together at Bradford. It’s the right time for me to be moving on and I think Oldham is the right place for me to be.”

Head coach Diskin said he had admired Kirk since he first arrived at Odsal as a teenager.

He added:

“He was in my academy team for a number of years and he’s a terrific forward. Until you work with him you don’t appreciate his quality. He’s an experienced, talented forward and I make no secret of the fact that I’ve tried to sign him previously.

“I’m absolutely delighted to get him on board this time and I know he’ll slot easily and comfortably into our squad and do exceptionally well.”

As a boy, Kirk played at Drighlington ARLFC, situated between Leeds and Bradford, and then signed for the Bulls as a scholar before working his way through the Bulls youth development systems to hit the first team in 2016.

He won an under-19s player-of-the-year award (under Diskin) at the age of 17 and the following year he carried off a monthly award as the squad’s outstanding player during March , 2015.

John Bastian, then Bradford’s head of youth, said at the time:

“Liam isn’t just a good player; he’s a quality individual. You can rely on him to set a good example in training as well as on the pitch.”

All but six of his 82 first-team games for the Bulls were played in the Championship season of 2017, the League One campaign of 2018 and the Championship year of 2019 when he figured in 31, 22 and 23 games respectively.

He has played five times against Oldham and has enjoyed four wins, the exception being at Bower Fold in 2017 when Roughyeds won a Championship battle 26-22 thanks to an exhilarating try by centre Kieran Gill near the end.

Liam Kirk images by SWPix

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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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