roughyeds REPORT: March

OLDHAM RUGBY League Club head into the 2013 campaign on the back of two pre-season wins — and a selection headache for coach Scott Naylor.

He has three hookers in his 22-man squad and each has performed admirably in the 34-22 win against a young Salford City Reds squad and the 22-20 Law Cup triumph at Rochdale.

Sam Gee and Kenny Hughes were among the Roughyeds’ six try scorers against the City Reds while Adam Files crossed for a crucial score that restored Oldham’s lead just after half-time at Spotland.

“All three have impressed me,” said Naylor, as he prepared his side for the opening game in the Northern Rail Cup against North Wales Crusaders at Wrexham.

“I’ve got a good, big pack and three excellent hookers so that gives me a headache to start with. But I don’t mind a problem like that; it’s better than the other sort.”

Fans are keen for Roughyeds to acquire more talented young players like these and they hope to help in the recruitment drive by raising funds in a Squad Strengthener scheme run by the Oldham Roughyeds Supporters’ Association, more commonly referred to as ‘ORSA’.

Last year’s Strengthener raised £2,300, but ORSA plans to build on that over the coming season with a new format and with incentives for fans to join.

Fans will be asked to back Squad Strenghtener 2013 by contributing in units of £5, each unit to be entered into a draw for three separate prizes.

The minimum donation is £5, but there is no upper limit. Fans can make a one-off donation or pay by monthly direct debit, with each £5 contributed offering a chance to win one of the following prizes:

*  2013 season ticket (money refunded if the winner already has one) and a framed, signed shirt of your favourite player.

* £75 voucher for club merchandise or two tickets for the end-of-season player presentations with an opportunity to present the Supporters’ player-of-the-year-trophy.

* £50 voucher to be spent on club merchandise.

All three winners will be invited to a home match as man-of-the-match sponsors, with corporate hospitality in the boardroom.

Cheques should be made payable to ORSA Squad Strengthener and sent to Sheila Somerville at 48, Great Meadow, Shaw OL2 7PX.

In addition, ORSA member John Davies will be fund-raising individually for Squad Strengthener by taking part in the 47-mile Welsh Mountains cycle race and the Manchester 10K Run as well as cycling from Oldham to Wrexham for the league game against North Wales Crusaders on Sunday, June 9.

While Squad Strengthener is solely for bringing in new players, fans are also being invited to assist with the cost of developing Whitebank by sponsoring a piece, or pieces, of the pitch.

It’s on offer at £10 per square metre and those contributing will receive a certificate of sponsorship, plus a mention in the club programme.

If the entire pitch were to be sponsored it would gross £37,000.

All donations will be placed in a ground development account and used solely for improving facilities at the Whitebank stadium.

For more details ring the Roughyeds office on 0161 628 3677.

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