Chris set for Latics ground talks

Date published: Tuesday, October 13, 2015

OLDHAM RL Club chairman Chris Hamilton has confirmed that the club is due to hold talks with his Oldham Athletic counterpart Simon Corney about the Roughyeds playing home matches at SportsDirect.com Park in 2016.

Newly-promoted Oldham, Kingstone Press League One champions in the season that’s just ended, have played at the Whitebank Stadium, Limeside since 2010, but that venue doesn’t meet the RFL’s minimum standards for the Championship.

Roughyeds have never wavered from their belief that the club’s long-term future lies at a developed and improved Whitebank, but in the short term they need to relocate for, at the very least, their first season in the Championship, which is only one tier down from Super League.

Said Hamilton: “I’ve always had a good working relationship with Simon (Corney) and we are going to meet to discuss the possibilities for next season.”

Hamilton, who was instrumental in forming Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd when the original Oldham club went into voluntary liquidation 18 years ago, has seen his top-of-the-table team pick up two trophies this season and surge to promotion with 14 wins in a row, culminating in a thrilling promotion-final victory over second-placed Keighley Cougars in front of a ground-record crowd of 1,405.

In addition, coach Scott Naylor and club captain Lewis Palfrey were named Kingstone Press League One coach of the year and player of the  year respectively.

Since promotion was achieved — all the sweeter because of six Grand Final defeats in eight years — Hamilton has had two meetings with Oldham Council in which he stressed that his long-term hope was to see Whitebank developed sufficiently to meet Championship requirements.

He has also had a further meeting with the advisory and technical team that was previously involved with plans to upgrade Whitebank, headed by Phil Mayall, a property developer, who has been involved with the proposed project at Whitebank since day one.