Future looking bright

Date published: Tuesday, June 28, 2011

OLDHAM RL chief Chris Hamilton has spoken of his pride in seeing Roughyeds reach another major milestone by launching their Extended Scholarship under-18s team.

Roughyeds are operating three teams — senior side, reserves (under-23s) and scholarship (under-18s) — for the first time since the new club was formed in 1997.

To cap it off, the reserves won 39-22 at York, the scholarship boys beat Workington 40-0 in their first-ever game and the seniors triumphed at Gateshead 52-16.

“It was a memorable few days,” said Hamilton. “And three wins from three games put the icing on the cake.”

Roughyeds are among only six clubs outside Super League to form an under-18s Extended Scholarship squad — and one of only three in Co-operative Championship One.

The reserves, meanwhile, are riding high in third place in the Under-23s Reserve Championship in a division which mainly comprises the second teams of clubs one tier higher than Oldham in the Co-operative Championship.

Said Hamilton: “We take a lot of pride in all this. We are the highest-placed Championship One club in the Reserves division, and that is a reward for all the hard work that is going on behind the scenes in a bid to take the club forward.

“We are building for the future and setting up an established pathway from under-18s, via the reserves, to the first team.”

He revealed that there was no additional funding from the RFL for clubs to run these teams, and added: “We have made a huge commitment because we see it as an important issue and one of which we feel we can be justifiably proud.”

In a double header this coming weekend, the reserves go to top-of-the-table Widnes Vikings on Saturday (2.30pm) and the first team are at home on Sunday (3pm) against Whitehaven.

The next meeting of the Oldham Rugby Supporters’ Association (ORSA) is this Friday, July 1 at Whitebank (8pm).