Martin Roden is right hand man

Date published: Wednesday, November 2, 2011

TONY Benson has redefined the job of his Roughyeds’ right-hand man Martin Roden.

The former Leigh hooker came to Oldham as conditioner in 2009, but came out of retirement as a player in July that year and has since figured in 61 of a possible 65 games, including 28 out of 28 in 2010.

He was upgraded to assistant coach last season when he played in 23 of the 27 cup and league matches as well as taking full responsibility for the squad’s fitness, stamina and general well-being.

He will continue to have a triple role under the terms of his new one-year contract, but boss Benson says it is time for the highly-rated 31-year-old to be winding down as a player in order to develop his skills and expertise in fitness work and coaching.

[singlepic id=630 w=320 h=240 float=left]”I want him to be more active on the coaching side,” said Benson, “and less involved as a player.

“He will still be registered as a player and that will enable me to use him as back-up for both hooker and loose-forward. But first and foremost I see him now as my No 2 because he has a lot to offer as a coach as well as taking full charge of fitness.

“As a player, he has given us a lot of direction on the field in the last two seasons and he has been able to pass that on to others.

“John Clough and Danny Whitmore, for instance, have developed a lot as team players and ‘Dogger’ (Roden) has had a lot to do with that.”

Roden, who runs his own gym in Wigan, is preparing a tough pre-season training programme for the Roughyeds squad, this to start at the end of November.

“I’ve been touring gyms and fitness centres across the region to pick up new ideas so that our pre-season work will be bigger and better than ever before,” he said.

Commenting on the readjustment of his role at the club in what will be a crucial 2012 campaign, he added: “I will do any job the club asks me to do and I will do it to the best of my ability.

“Coaching comes first, conditioning second and playing third.

“I don’t pick the team so whether I play is out of my hands. If ever I am selected, though, I will be delighted because I still like playing and you are a long-time retired.

“The only reason I retired in 2008 was to concentrate on building up my own gymnasium business, but it was fantastic to put the boots on again in that 2009 game at Dewsbury, and I’ve enjoyed playing ever since.

“Year on year I am developing as a coach and a conditioner, and Tony wants me to concentrate on those skills.

“The squad is going to be strong and exciting with a nice blend of youth and experience. I’m looking forward to working with a squad that will include several new faces.

“The lads who have stepped up from the reserves also look to be a talented bunch. Jamie Dallimore will be looking for a lot of game time in 2012 and as far as young players are concerned I don’t think he will be on his own.”

+Tickets for the Halloween Party at Whitebank tomorrow (Thurs), starting at 6.30pm, must be purchased from the Roughyeds office in Lansdowne Road, Chadderton (tel: 0161 628 3677) before 5pm tonight for catering purposes.