New signing

Date published: Friday, May 25, 2012

A YOUNG winger from Halifax is the latest player to join Oldham RL on loan.
Chris Holroyde, who trained with his new team mates for the first time last night, goes straight into a 20-man squad for tomorrow’s rearranged Championship One clash with South Wales Scorpions at Whitebank (1pm kick off).
He is no stranger to the Oldham pitch, having scored two tries on it —- one of them an exciting length-of-the-field interception — in the Halifax reserve team’s 22-14 win at Whitebank three weeks ago.
“I’m here on loan, but I’m not sure for how long,” said 22-year-old Holroyde, who signed for Halifax when he was 17 and later spent two seasons at Bradford Bulls before returning to The Shay.
Having acquired Holroyde from Halifax, David Tootill from Hunslet and Lewis Reed from Keighley, all on loan in addition to dual-registration prop Matty Syron from Leeds Rhinos, Roughyeds now have their full allocation of players signed under those arrangements.
Leeds have first option on Syron, whom they have called back to Headingley for the time being.
Prop Tootill and utility forward Reed made their Oldham debuts in the 26-16 defeat by Whitehaven last Sunday and there is every chance that Holroyde will be seen in Roughyeds colours for the first time against the Scorpions.
In a bid to end a run of  five league games without a win, the squad has this week stepped up the time spent on match preparation.
Ahead of a Sunday game, the routine is to train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday morning.
This week the players were in on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings and they will be in again tonight for the fourth time this week.
“It was felt that we could benefit from extra sessions, given that so many new players are coming in all at once,” said coach Tony Benson.
“Tootill and Reed each had only one session with us before they were thrust into the side last week, and there is a similar situation this week with Holroyde.
“By putting in more time on preparation, we can make it easier for the new boys.
“It also means that injured players requiring treatment or rehab have received more attention than normal.”
There was a setback last night, however, when physiotherapist Rachael Johnson was unable to be present after damaging her hands and being badly shaken up in a car crash earlier in the day.
Reserve team physio Pat Hoyte had to double up his workload to look after the walking wounded in both squads.
Final fitness decisions will be made on six players tonight before Benson chops his squad from 20 to 17.
Paul Noone (ankle), David Ellison (hamstring), John Gillam (toe), Lucas Onyango (hamstring), Alex Thompson (hamstring) and Valu Bentley (calf) will all be called upon to prove their fitness.
The squad comprises last week’s 17, minus the suspended Jamie Dallimore, plus Gillam, Ellison, Noone and the latest new recruit, Holroyde.
Oldham (from): Greenwood, Onyango, Cookson, McCully, Brocklehurst, Gillam, Holroyde, Holroyd, Boults, Clough, Tootill, Ward, Bentley, M Roden, Thompson, Whitmore, Reed, Gilchrist, Noone, Ellison.
Graham Holroyd — no relation to new-boy Holroyde — will take over Dallimore’s goalkicking duties.
The teams drew 36-36 at The Gnoll in a Northern Rail Cup thriller in February.
Added Benson: “They beat Rochdale at home last week, and they are no mugs. They will be coming up here full of confidence.”
Although they have won only two league games their form throughout May has improved gradually, culminating in the 32-30 win against Hornets.
Said coach Dave Clark, a Kiwi like Benson: “We’ve a few things we need to fix, but we were all greatly encouraged by our win.
“I’ve kept in touch with Tony (Benson) since I started coaching.
“He’s going through a tough time right now regarding injuries, and I feel for him.
“He’s a good coach and he gets the best out of his sides. We’ll have to be at our best to compete in this one.”
Clark is delighted at the form of his three recent recruits from Welsh RU, utility player Alun Wyn Davies and centres Tom Morgan and Kevin James, who was previously with Neath.
They all caught the eye against Hornets, as did hooker Nathan Mossop, who scored three tries, and scrum-half Steve Parry, who scored two.
The Junction, Ripponden Road is laying on free transport to Whitebank from that side of town, but seats need to be reserved in advance on 0161 633 2759.