OLDHAM hope to have Law Cup hero Matt Reid back after injury for their Betfred League 1 opener at Whitehaven on Sunday, February 18 (3pm kick-off).
The former Coventry Bears centre scored two tries in a man-of-the-match performance on debut at Rochdale, but then gashed a hand in training and missed the Roughyeds’ other warm-up games against Barrow Raiders and Keighley Cougars.
Earlier reports suggested he might not be ready for the Whitehaven game, but head coach Scott Naylor’s latest assessment was a lot more promising.
He said: “Matt is still getting some attention to the injury, but I expect him to be training normally in readiness for the game at Whitehaven.”
The same applied, he said, to Kenny Hughes, recovering from surgery on a finger, and to Liam Bent, who dislocated an elbow in the Law Cup triumph a month ago.
Naylor, meanwhile, has played down any significance in the allocation of 2018 squad numbers as follows:
1, Kyran Johnson; 2, Dave Eccleston; 3, Matt Reid; 4, Jack Holmes; 5, Steven Nield; 6, Paul Crook; 7, David Hewitt; 8, Phil Joy; 9, Gareth Owen; 10, Adam Neal; 11, Craig Briscoe; 12, Danny Langtree; 13, Jack Spencer; 18, Ben Davies; 19, Adam Jones; 20, Matty Wilkinson; 21, Kenny Hughes; 22, Danny Rasool; 23, Luke Nelmes; 24, Liam Bent; 25, Danny Bridge.
The numbers 14 to 17 inclusive have been held in reserve for future use.
Naylor said: “They’re just numbers on a shirt. Personally, I don’t see the importance or the significance of them. Some players may feel they’re important, but feeling towards squad numbers has changed throughout the game since their early days.
“Every week, you can now see Super League players wearing numbers that you would never ever associate with them.
“Some lads are superstitious and like to keep the same number every year, but it’s impossible to please everybody. We do our best and hope that everybody is happy with them.
“On a personal note I played centre with a No 20 on my back for five years, but it didn’t bother me. What’s important is how you play; not what number you have on your back.”