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Oldham RLFC acquires training base — new era for Roughyeds

ROUGHYEDS and the club’s Community Trust can today announce a major development for Oldham RLFC. They and Hollinwood ARLFC have signed a lease with the Rugby Football League for joint occupancy of Melrose Playing Fields.

The site, on Fields New Road in Chadderton, presents the start of a new era for Oldham RLFC and an opportunity to develop off-field activities together with the chance to provide the first-team squad with a training base.

Oldham RLFC chairman Christopher Hamilton said:

“This has been an ongoing project since November, 2020 when we were still in the midst of Covid 19 and all that went with it.

“However, all that perseverance and hard work has led us to this point, and we are naturally delighted to have got the lease signed. Via the Community Trust, we have a great opportunity to significantly develop our off field and community activities over the course of the coming years.

“We intend to work closely with local residents and councillors to make the site more accessible for all kinds of activities for both young and old alike.

“We are genuinely excited about the opportunities that will lay ahead. The Community Trust will be able to seek partners and access funding not available to the club and we will have a further announcement on our first venture in the coming days.

“Hollinwood ARLFC has had its struggles in recent times, and we hope that with our involvement it can become stronger and more sustainable.

“The site will also provide several development initiatives for the club.

“The lease term is initially for a period of 15 years but it incorporates an automatic renewal clause.

“This is a major step forward and puts us in a position to strengthen the club in the years to come.”

Tony Sutton, the RFL’s chief operating officer, said:

“We encourage all our clubs to invest in improving their facilities and to work closely with their community clubs.

“This development, therefore, is a very positive development for the Oldham and Hollinwood clubs – and for the sport of Rugby League in the area.

“We are delighted to provide our full support.”

Roughyeds vice-chairman John Roddy added:

“When Chris Hamilton advised me of the club’s potential, with its own training facilities, I immediately recognised opportunities for the club and for the further development of Rugby League in Oldham.

“Outside Super League, we are now the only North West professional club with its own facilities. This will provide far more flexibility and will allow us to introduce additional activities, putting us alongside other clubs in Super league and below.

“This is another major achievement for Roughyeds and for the town.”

Head coach Stuart Littler was also delighted, saying:

“It is outstanding news to hear the lease has been signed. I am absolutely delighted that we have managed to get this over the line, and it will massively help us in what we are trying to do, moving forward.

“When I came to the club I spoke to Chris and John about putting structures and facilities in place to assist the club with progressing.

“On the back of the excellent gym facilities at Glo Gym and the staff we have in place we are building systems that will support the team’s ongoing development.”

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