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Fax friendly streamed on March 13

OLDHAM fans will be able to get their first look at Matt Diskin’s new-look squad when newly-named Halifax Panthers come to Bower Fold on Saturday, March 13 in a match which will be streamed live on Our League.

The game will obviously be behind closed doors, but fans of both clubs — starved of watching their favourite teams for more than a year — are expected to tune-in for this special Our League presentation in their droves.

We go to Featherstone for a similar friendly on Saturday, March 6 (1.30pm) and Fax will host an opposed training session against Huddersfield Giants at The Shay on the same day.

But thanks to streaming on Our League, the Oldham-Halifax clash on March 13, kicking off at 4pm, will be the first opportunity in a year that Roughyeds and Fax fans have had to watch their boys in action.

Full details of the streaming will follow, but for those fans who are not yet linked up with Our League make sure you sign in to #OurLeague via website or app and select OLDHAM as your team as you sign in.

Fax boss Simon Grix will be looking at eight new faces, while Matt Diskin has no fewer than 13 newcomers in his group, namely Tyler Dupree, Martyn Reilly, Luke Nelmes, Shaun Pick and Liam Kirk (forwards) and Tommy Brierley, Ben Heaton, Ben Holcroft, Max Roberts, Callum Greem, James Barran, Ryan Ince and Joe Hartley (backs).

It will be a special day for centre Ben Heaton, who began his career at Oldham but then had eight seasons in Halifax’s blue and white hoops, making more than 100 appearances before returning to his Roughyeds roots via a short stint with Hunslet.

How ironic if he is directly opposed by Zack McComb, who became a firm favourite among Oldham fans before opting for Sheffield Eagles and later signing for Fax, his home-town club.

Said Diskin:

“I’m very happy about both our friendlies. They will both test us to the hilt and that’s exactly what we want from this sort of game.

“Like Featherstone, Halifax are one of the strongest outfits in the Championship and they are highly regarded right through the division. “We wanted opponents who would severely test us and Featherstone and Halifax will certainly do that.”

The game will be held just a week before first-round games in the Betfred Challenge Cup and will thus give both coaches the perfect opportunity to watch their new squads completing 80 minutes of full-on contact.

They will also be weighing-up individual performances, new combinations and fitness levels on the brink of a new and challenging season.

Grix said:

“We were happy to accept Chris Hamilton’s invitation to go over to Oldham for a friendly

“After a short and restricted pre-season, it’s important for me to see where the lads are in terms of applying what we have practiced on the training field and in gaining clarity on decisions around selection.”

Watch this website and our social media channels for Our League coverage details of this particular match.

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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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