Naylor’s options

Date published: Thursday, March 7, 2013

SCOTT Naylor will have plenty of options and some tough decisions to make before naming his Oldham RL side for Sunday’s Northern Rail Cup derby clash with Rochdale Hornets at Whitebank (3pm kick off).

Centre David Cookson will play in the under-20s at Rochdale on Saturday as he strives for full fitness after missing the squad’s pre-season work because of a six-month RFL ban.
New boy Liam Thompson, a young loose-forward, is also working his way back to fitness after a shoulder operation.
That still leaves seven members of the senior squad who didn’t figure in the defeat at North Wales Crusaders, including 32-year-old pivot Neil Roden, former captain and the most experienced player at the club.
Backs Dale Bloomfield and Steven Nield and forwards Callum Marriott, Chris Tyrer, Kenny Hughes and Phil Joy are also waiting for their first appearance in the Northern Rail Cup.
Prop Joy, like Cookson, played for the under-20s in their 28-14 loss at Leigh last Friday night.
The 17 at Wrexham included four dual-registered players from link club Salford City Reds, but Naylor has already intimated that they will be subject to change too.
More will be known at training tonight, following Naylor’s latest talks with City Reds caretaker boss Alan Hunte, but the Roughyeds boss is unlikely to name his 17 until Saturday morning.
Rochdale will be similarly liaising with their partners, St Helens, before coach Ian Talbot finalises a Hornets side that will be out to avenge Oldham’s 22-20 Law Cup win at Spotland last month.
Stand-off Paul Crook, who scored nine goals and a try in the 58-16 win against Gateshead Thunder to lead the list of Northern Rail Cup scorers, will be making his 100th career appearance.
+ On sale at the Roughyeds first home game will be a newly-designed match programme, up from 20 pages to 24 and down in price from £2.50 to £2.
Said Nigel Marland, editor for six years: “It’s the best read and the most attractive publication we’ve had in all that time.”
+ Starting on Sunday, and for the first four home games, ORSA officials will have a stall in the Whitebank club at which fans can sign up for Squad Strengthener, which has already raised £2,500 in one month compared with £2,300 in the whole of last season.
+ Roughyeds will know next Wednesday, March 13 who they will play in the third round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup next month.
The draw will be made at the home base of new Kingstone Press Championship One club Oxford by actor Kevin Whately, the well-known TV detective.