THERE will be a special face in the crowd when we open up the 2022 new-look Roughyeds season with a friendly against a Wakefield Trinity squad at the Vestacare Stadium on Saturday night, 6pm kick-off.
The following weekend we are at home again to Castleford amateurs Lock Lane in the second round of the Betfred Challenge Cup and the Lane’s head coach Paul Couch, who masterminded the excellent 18-10 first-round win against NCL champions Thatto Heath, will be here to run the rule over Stuart Littler’s new squad.
“We’ve got a good history in the Challenge Cup. It’s something we take really seriously and a competition we’re proud to be in.”
The 46-year-old has previously coached Castleford Tigers Academy and Yorkshire Men’s open age and he also coaches England Community Lions’ under-23s.
He is no stranger to at least two of the Oldham new boys, having coached centre Will Cooke at Cas under-19s and utility back Liam Copland when he had charge of Yorkshire.
He also knows several of our other signings from Yorkshire.
“We are under no illusions about our trip to Oldham. We will be underdogs, naturally, but we are looking forward to it and I’ll be there on Saturday to take a look at the Roughyeds against Wakefield.”
Stuart Littler intends to give every available member of his squad a run-out as preparation for the following week’s cup tie.
Talking of our latest signing, prop Ethan Ferry from Dewsbury Celtic, Stuart told League Express:
“There’s loads of growth in Ethan. He’s not been involved in technical systems before and we’re getting a bit more detail into him than he’s had previously.
“He’s also increased his training, doing extra sessions himself. He’s shown everybody that he’s worth a contract so that’s his first target achieved. His second target is to get into the 17 week in week out.
“That’s something he’s wanting to embrace and we’ll support him the best we can to help him get there.”
Saturday night’s admission prices are as follows: adults and concessions £10; students (with identification) £2; under-16s FREE.
A seat will involve a £2 transfer, with seats for under-16s costing £3.
Wakefield are at the Vestacare on Saturday (6pm) and then play Featherstone away (3pm) on Sunday.
Don’t forget that in the build-up to the next two weekends we launch the season on Thursday night (8pm) at the Oldham Event Centre, Boundary Park when we are hoping for a good turn-out of fans to meet and greet our new squad after training.
Shaun Pick, who played for us last season, has signed for Lock Lane, but he is unlikely to be available for the Challenge Cup tie.
“Work commitments mean he can’t commit to part-time pro rugby any more, but we are absolutely delighted to get him. He will strengthen us a lot.”