Benson makes rallying call to fans

Date published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TONY Benson has made a rallying call to fans in the wake of Oldham RL Club’s poor run of results.
Roughyeds have gone four league games without a win — three defeats, one draw — and have dropped out of Championship One’s top four.
But the long-serving Kiwi boss, in his fourth season with the club, has revealed that Roughyeds have been hit by a series of off-the-field setbacks as well as suffering from an injury list of horrendous proportions.
No fewer than TEN first-teamers were ruled out of last Sunday’s 40-18 defeat at table-topping Doncaster by injury or illness.
He also revealed that:
PAUL BALLARD, a winger signed only this season, has retired from the game.
MATTY SYRON, a dual-registered prop from Leeds Rhinos, couldn’t play in the last two games because the Super League club recalled him.
MATTHEW FOGARTY, the club’s young centre, has gone absent without leave.
He didn’t train last week in the build-up to the Doncaster game.
The other 10 non-starters, some of them long-term injury victims, were John Gillam (broken toe), Luke Stenchion (broken hand), Chris Clarke (shoulder), Neil Roden (torn thigh muscle), Danny Whitmore (flu), Mark McCully (flu), Paul Noone (ankle), Paul Smith (hamstring), Chris Murphy (knee) and Alex Thompson (groin).
The list has now grown to 11 because winger Shaun Robinson broke a hand at the Keepmoat Stadium and now awaits a consultation at the fracture clinic on Thursday.
Stenchion’s surgery has gone smoothly —- he had his post-op consultation yesterday — but it still isn’t known how long he will be out.
Gillam and Stenchion were both injured in bizarre circumstances while Noone and Smith were hurt at London Skolars on a pitch which last Sunday was declared unfit to stage a game against South Wales because it was rutted.
Said Benson: “These are not excuses, but facts. We are not saying other clubs don’t pick up injuries, but there isn’t a club in the game who would not be adversely affected by the situation we are in now.
“We are working extremely hard to get back on track, but everyone at the club and everyone who supports the club needs to pull together.
“Some of those who couldn’t play at Doncaster were ruled out at the last minute and then we had the Shaun Robinson injury which meant further disruption and further changes as well as limitations on how we could use the subs.
“Because so many players are injured, the reserves had only three subs last Thursday and two of the boys who played in that match, Mark Brocklehurst and Sam Cunningham, were forced into action again at Doncaster only three days later.
“Brocky did the full 80 in both games while Cunningham, who has joined us after being released by Whitehaven, was called upon to make the big leap from reserves to first team in the space of such a short time.
“We need all the support we can get right now and I trust and hope the fans will turn up in numbers at Whitebank on Sunday to get behind the team in another extremely important game against Whitehaven.
“Fans have been terrific in their support of the team this year, but now is the time to display an even bigger show of loyal support.”
The club is actively looking for players and with that high on the agenda several meetings attended by club chairman Chris Hamilton, Benson and his No 2 Martin Roden have taken place since the home defeat by North Wales Crusaders ten days ago.
The chairman said: “No stone will be left unturned. We are all pulling in the same direction and we are all focused on working together as a group to get things right for Sunday’s game against Whitehaven.”