keep the faith

Date published: Tuesday, April 12, 2011

OLDHAM RL chief Chris Hamilton has urged fans to keep the faith as Roughyeds bid to get back to winning ways against London Skolars at Whitebank on Sunday (3pm kick off).

Three league defeats in a row have plummeted Tony Benson’s injury-ravaged squad to third from bottom of Championship One with only two ‘outpost’ clubs beneath them in Skolars and Gateshead Thunder.

Skolars have signed second-row man Lamont Bryan and winger Jack Latus from Harlequins RL on loan and both scored on debut as the Londoners rattled top-of-the-table Swinton Lions on Sunday, losing only 38-30 and picking up their first point of the season.

Roughyeds hope to have new signing Luke Stenchion on show for the first time at prop and experienced duo Neil Roden (club skipper) and Marcus St Hilaire (joint vice-captain) returning after injury in the backs.

They haven’t ruled out the possibility also of bringing in another new player in time to further boost the squad ahead of this must-win encounter.

Club chairman Hamilton, meanwhile, has promised fans in a rallying call that team and club WILL turn things round and that they will be stronger for the experience.

He said: “Fans are on a downer after the last three games and that’s understandable, but nobody is more disappointed than I am..

“We have contributed to our own downfall and some players have not performed as they should.

“However, I have learned over the years that although I have similar feelings to fans at times like this, my role as chairman demands that I have to make sure all other things associated with the club function as normal.

“That means we stick together and work even harder. And for those who are in a position to do something about the situation — coaches, players, staff and volunteers —- it helps enormously to know that they have your confidence.

“Within the club, we know this situation will be turned around, but we need to get players fit and further strengthen the squad as and when we can.

“That’s not easy. We completed the Stenchion signing last week, but we have been frustrated in some of our attempts over the past few weeks to bring in reinforcements. It will happen, though, and I can say that, having had similar experiences over the years.

“Stenchion will demonstrate why we wanted to sign him and, hopefully, there will be at least one more new face at the club before weekend.

“Officials from each of our last three opposing clubs have said how lucky they were to have played us at a time when we had so many players out through injury.

“We will emerge stronger, of that I am sure. And we hope fans will understand that we are not after a short-term fix but we are working on a project that is sustainable in the long term. Furthermore, many clubs wish they were in our position.

“This is no time for negativity. We need to put things into perspective and I will be leading from the front in that. The season is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Under-16s who are accompanied by an adult can watch the Skolars game free of charge providing they obtain a voucher from the Roughyeds office in Lansdowne Road, Chadderton (tel: 0161 628 3677) before 5pm on Friday or prior to kick-off from the ticket kiosk situated next to the turnstiles.

Adults and concessions intending to capitalise on a ‘buy one, get one half-price’ offer must do so before 5pm Friday at Lansdowne Road as that offer will not be available at the turnstiles or at the ticket kiosk.