MATT Diskin has revealed his Roughyeds' 2021 squad numbers and has named seven of his 14 new signings in his first 17.
It’s a 17-man game now — non-playing subs are rare and the four on any bench are used tactically more often than not.
It’s all a far cry from many years ago when there were just two subs, usually one back and one forward, and they were only used in the event of injury.
Taking numbers at face value, the Roughyeds' head coach has included newcomers Tommy Brierley, Ben Heaton and Ryan Ince in the backs; Martyn Reilly at loose-forward; Luke Nelmes, Tyler Dupree and Liam Kirk on the bench.
Squad numbers are as follows:
- Dan ABRAM
- Tommy BRIERLEY
- Ben HEATON
- Cameron LEEMING
- Ryan INCE
- Lewis CHARNOCK
- Dave HEWITT
- Phil JOY
- Gareth OWEN
- Jack SPENCER
- Danny LANGTREE
- Liam BENT
- Martyn REILLY
- Matty WILKINSON
- Luke NELMES
- Tyler DUPREE
- Liam KIRK
- THE FANS
- Matthew FLETCHER
- Jode SHERIFFE
- Shaun PICK
- Kyran JOHNSON
- Callum GREEN
- Max ROBERTS
- Danny BRIDGE
- James BARRAN
- Ben HOLCROFT
- Joe HARTLEY
- Dec GREGORY
- John HUTCHINGS
What’s in a number ?
The theme that runs constantly through the coach’s comments on this is that every player is starting on a blank sheet of paper and that no player can feel secure on the strength of his squad number alone.
“On the one hand, and I know this myself from my own playing days, squad numbers are important for the players.
“On the other hand, people can very easily read too much into them. In this case, most of them picked themselves.
“The main thing to say is that no player can feel secure on his number alone.
“We have a really competitive squad and I’m delighted to say there’s cover for every position, so every player will be challenging for his spot every week.
“We wanted some consistency in the numbering, too, so that was another factor in it, as was a request from some players to keep the same number they had last season.”
Among those numbered the same as last year are Dan Abram (1), Cam Leeming (4), Lewis Charnock (6), Dave Hewitt (7), Phil Joy (8), Gareth Owen (9), Jack Spencer (10) and Danny Langtree (11).
Liam Bent, the club’s tackling machine, goes from 13 to 12 with more than a hint from the boss that this year Benty will be pushing for any one of the pack’s back-three spots.
And of the backs, Matt had this to say:
“Ryan Ince will wear 5 and Cam Leeming 4, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Ryan will always be on the wing and Cam will always be at centre.
“Ryan has been doing a lot of his training in the centre with Cam on the wing where he has caught the eye with his ability to carry the ball strongly out of defence to get his side on the front foot.
“There will be occasions when we swop them around, with Cam on the wing and Ryan in the centre.
“That’s what I mean when I say you can’t read too much into the squad numbers.”