It’s Coventry here in League 1 Cup

Date published: Monday, December 8, 2014

OLDHAM won’t be sent to Coventry next season, but the new boys of rugby league’s third tier will make two early trips to Whitebank in cup and league.

As the RFL’s new flagship in the Midlands, Coventry Bears will be under the sport’s spotlight when they play their first-ever semi-pro game at Whitebank on the weekend of February 28/March 1 in the opening round of the new League One Cup.
Six weeks later, on Sunday, April 12, they will be here again in Oldham’s first home league game, but Roughyeds don’t have a return fixture at the Butts Park Arena because the ‘baby’ Bears are among the four clubs Scott Naylor’s men play only once in a division of 14 club, each having 22 games.
When his Roughyeds were paired with the new boys in Friday’s draw — made on local radio in Coventry — Naylor assured Oldham fans that he and his team would show the Bears total respect and prepare for them as they would for any other side in the division.
He said: “Given all the travelling we have to do in the league (including trips to South Wales, Gloucestershire, London, Hertfordshire, Tyneside and Oxford), a home tie is a bonus.
“Coventry are unknown to us and as the tie will be the first game of the new season, form will be irrelevant.
“Anything can happen in cup ties and we know from past experience that when we don’t turn up with the right attitude we put ourselves under pressure.
“It’s a chance for Coventry to make a statement about their credentials for stepping up to this level and I know they’ll be determined to do exactly that.
“It’s a huge game for them, but as the season’s opener it’s also a big opportunity for us, and for our new players, to lay down a marker and to give all the people who turn up to support us every reason for wanting to come back again.
“We certainly won’t be taking them lightly; that, I can guarantee.”
Formed in 1998, Coventry won the Rugby League Conference in 2002 and the National League 3 title two years later.
They run two open-age squads, a women’s team and, at junior level, teams in several different age groups.
The draw:
Keighley v East Leeds; West Hull v North Wales Crusaders; Swinton Lions v Hemel Stags; Barrow v Gloucester All Golds; Oxford v Gateshead; OLDHAM v Coventry Bears; Rochdale v South Wales Scorpions; London Skolars v York City Knights.