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Leeming suffers broken nose as players return to training

AFTER an enforced absence of nine months, Roughyeds were back in training for the first time last night (Tuesday) as pre-season work for the 2021 Betfred Championship campaign got under way.

In typical pre-season weather — constant rain — the players were delighted to be back in the old routine, doing what they love best as a squad, albeit “different” this year because of anti-Covid protocols.

After following these RFL protocols each step of the way, including online training for all players and staff, the club eventually got written confirmation of permission to return to training just two hours before the start of the session.

Oldham Squad begin pre-season training
Oldham Squad begin pre-season training

After such a long break, and restrictions on the kind of training players have been able to do away from the club, it was always going to be a test for all concerned, both physically and mentally.

One player who didn’t enjoy it was Cameron Leeming, who literally lasted two minutes before breaking his nose badly after a clash of heads with new-boy Ryan Ince. Leeming was forced to sit out the rest of the session before heading to hospital in Leeds.

Chairman Christopher Hamilton said:

”A lot of work by all concerned has gone into getting us to this stage. The lads were chomping at the bit to get back to training. A few of them will be feeling it tomorrow, no doubt, but importantly we have taken a big step towards some kind of normality with the ultimate aim of playing matches in front of our fans as soon as possible."

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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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