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Roughyeds bid for significant milestone one year since takeover

Oldham are anticipating their biggest home league crowd in 16 years for Sunday’s Betfred League One derby with Rochdale, just 12 months since the takeover by a consortium led by Mike Ford.

While Super League’s “Rivals Round” takes centre stage this weekend, there are scores to be settled elsewhere, and The Roughyeds expect to have 2000 spectators inside Boundary Park for the Easter Sunday clash.

It would represent their largest home league attendance since July 2008, when 2806 watched Oldham beat Doncaster in National League 2.

The milestone would underline the exciting progress being made by Ford and Chairman Bill Quinn on and off the pitch, with Sean Long’s side bidding to make it two wins from two at the start of a league season from which they are favourites to be promoted as champions.

”We have a purpose and that is to try and connect to our old fans who we believe haven’t come for 20 years, and trying to get new fans to come here, to make it a rugby league town again," says Ford.

”I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think we could build a club that can get to Super League. It’s about growing the club."

Oldham have assembled a star-studded squad mixing the experience of former Super League stars Jordan Turner, Craig Kopczak and Joe Wardle with rising stars like former Wigan half-back Logan Astley and Hull KR’s Phoenix Laulu-Togaga’e.

Head coach Long signed a three-year deal to oversee the squad “to put Oldham back on the map” and the Great Britain legend is adamant that with the support of the passionate Oldham fanbase, he can make it happen.

”I have some older lads who I have coached before and for me it is about passing on my knowledge of what I did as a player. When this opportunity came up I didn’t want to miss this journey that Oldham were on.

”Look at the players who have come from Oldham like Sinfield, Barrie Mac and Sculthorpe. It’s a hotbed of rugby league and we want to get it back to that. The fans have been brilliant and we are on a journey together that we want to build on, but we have to do that week by week or we will get turned over.

”Hopefully the crowd will get behind us and see us over the line. Fans will want entertaining rugby but you have to earn the right to play first. We will have to be on our mettle or we’ll get punched in the face!"



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