Oldham RL HEAD coach Scott Naylor and conditioner-cum-prop Adam Neal took their squad to Trafford Park, Manchester on Tuesday, February 6 for a special training session at Challenge4Change.
In so doing they followed the likes of St Helens, Wigan Warriors, Salford Red Devils, Sale Sharks, Blackpool FC, Blackburn Rovers, FC United, AFC Fylde, Manchester City Ladies Elite Development Squad and Manchester Thunder Netball.
Challenge4Change is described on its website as “a unique indoor activity centre designed, with sports teams in mind, to improve team bonding, continuity and performance.”
Said Naylor: “It was a great experience. Everyone was there. The injured lads did what they could.
“We did two-and-a-half hours of non-stop stuff. It was intense, but interesting and a good laugh at the same time. The lads enjoyed it immensely and it was very beneficial.”
The club wishes to thank ORSA (Oldham Roughyeds Supporters Association), who part-funded the visit to Challenge4Change as part of their continuing remit to support the playing and coaching staff in a variety of ways.
In the coming season the official, but independently-run, supporters club will sponsor 20-year-old Liam Bent, youngest member of the Roughyeds’ squad, and they are striving to increase ORSA membership for an annual subscription of £10.
Naylor, meanwhile, reported “good news” on the injury front with Kenny Hughes, who has had surgery on a damaged finger, and Liam Bent, who dislocated an elbow in the Law Cup win at Rochdale, looking likely to return to normal training next week.
Adam Jones has recovered from flu that forced him out of the 52-6 win against Keighley Cougars; Gareth Owen is continuing his rehab on a serious foot injury; and Ben Davies has had a scan which has shown he does not need surgery to correct a back problem.
Added Naylor: “That’s good news. He may need an injection now and we’d expect him to be ready for a return to training about a week after that.”
Second favourites to win Betfred League 1 outright, Roughyeds open up against third favourites Whitehaven in Cumbria on Sunday, February 18.
Big French prop Levy Nzoungou, who impressed for Oldham against Keighley on dual-registration from partner club Salford Red Devils, will probably play for the Cumbrians, whom he has since joined on a month’s loan.
He made his debut for Haven as a substitute in their 30-12 win against derby rivals Workington Town at the Recreation Ground in the annual Ike Southward memorial match, watched by a crowd of 1,113.
Naylor said he had spoken to Salford head coach Ian Watson about the Nzoungou situation, which would not affect the Salford-Oldham dual-reg link-up.
Despite visa delays, Whitehaven expect to have both their PNG stars, Dion Aiye and Jessie Joe Parker, back at the club in time for the Oldham game.