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Kyran re-signs for a fourth season at his home-from-home

POPULAR Kyran Johnson, whose affinity with Oldham fans is widely and publicly reciprocated, has signed a new one-year deal to take to 25 the number of players now committed to Matt Diskin’s new-look Roughyeds squad for the 2021 Betfred Championship campaign.

Unlike this aborted and Covid-ruined 2020 season, when most teams had got their squads together by the time Oldham clinched promotion to tier two, the Oldham boss has had the time and the opportunity to put his own stamp on the 2021 squad and he is very happy at how it is taking shape.

Said Diskin:

“We’ve got quality, depth and competition across the board. I’m really happy. And I’m certainly a lot more confident about our prospects than I was this time last year. Things are going well.

“The boys are itching to get back in for training. This latest lockdown has come as another setback but, fingers crossed, we’re hoping to start again in December.”

Of Johnson’s new deal, he added:

“Kyran is a really good lad. He’s got a great attitude and a great work ethic. He didn’t enjoy the best of starts this year, but he hadn’t fully recovered from an ankle injury he sustained in the Promotion Final at the end of the 2019 season and, because we had other players injured, he was also asked to play out of position at times.

“Like everyone else in 2021 he’ll be competing for a spot, but knowing him as I do, I’m sure he’ll be better prepared this time, both physically and mentally.”

The 26-year-old Johnson, a proud Yorkshireman who lives in Featherstone, has confirmed that he is now fully fit from the ankle injury he sustained when his left-wing break in the 2019 Promotion Final against Newcastle set up the move in which Dave Hewitt and Paul Crook found the space for Jimmy Beckett to score the winning try.

He said:

“I always look forward to getting back into it, but especially so this time because we’ve been out of action for so long. In the last eight months I’ve had the time to get the ankle 100 per cent fit again — a far cry from last year when, within a couple of weeks of getting injured, I was tromping around America on holiday.

“This time I’m raring to go. All the time off we’ve had has been a great healer for my ankle. I can’t wait to get back into it all with the rest of the lads. I love the fans and I love being at the club. It’s a pity it’s in Lancashire, but for all that it’s home-from-home and in my three years there I’ve come to love the place. I couldn’t be anywhere better.”

Johnson, who normally plays wing or full-back, joined Roughyeds for the start of the 2018 League One season, in which he scored five tries in 16 appearances, mainly on the wing.

He then signed a two-year deal covering 2019 and 2020 and his new agreement will take him up to November 30 next year.

Two of his 15 appearances in 2019 (seven tries) were on the left wing in the games that clinched promotion — a 22-12 win against Doncaster in the Qualifying Semi-Final and the thrilling 18-14 victory against Newcastle Thunder in the Play-Off Final, both at the Vestacare Stadium.

He played in four of Oldham’s six games at the start of this year, including a rare centre appearance at Toulouse when he and Dan Abram filled the centre spots because of a pile-up of injuries in the backs.

The 25 players announced so far as having signed for 2021 are split into backs and forwards like this:

BACKS: Lewis Charnock, Dave Hewitt, Tommy Brierley, Cam Leeming, Dan Abram, Ben Heaton, John Hutchings, Ben Holcroft, Max Roberts, Callum Green, James Barran, Kyran Johnson.

FORWARDS: Danny Langtree, Tyler Dupree, Martyn Reilly, Luke Nelmes, Matthew Fletcher, Matty Wilkinson, Gareth Owen, Jack Spencer, Liam Bent, Ed Smith, Phil Joy, Shaun Pick, Liam Kirk.

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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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