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.
“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.
“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.