Oldham Service Area

Date published: Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ROUGHYEDS’ links with the game locally at grassroots level, via the Service Area, will be further strengthened over the course of the next few weeks.

Already in place is a direct link to the under-18s town-team squad, which is coached by Roughyeds reserve team boss John Hough. There are plans for John to have some input also with the under-16s if and when his Whitebank commitments permit.

Lower down the age-group ladder at Service Area level, the under-13s, 14s, 15s and 16s talent squads will train at Whitebank for the first time on Saturday in a two-hour session from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

And as a curtain-raiser to the Oldham-Hornets Law Cup clash at Whitebank on Sunday, January 2 (3pm kick off) the under-13 and under-14 squads will play modified nine-a-side games against opponents from Rochdale’s Service Area organisation, which is structured on similarly progressive lines.

In each organisation there is a clearly-defined pathway for young players to develop and progress from club rugby to town team and then on to regional Service Area representation.

“We are working in close association with the Oldham Service Area and we are hoping the training on Saturday and the curtain-raiser to the Law Cup clash will merely be the start of several Service Area initiatives to be hosted at Whitebank,” said Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton.

Roughyeds’ head coach Tony Benson believes passionately that the sport in Oldham at all levels will go from strength to strength if the town presents a united front.

Most of the town’s junior sections played curtain-raisers at Whitebank last season and on more than one occasion the Roughyeds and St Anne’s linked up for training sessions.

Benson believes also that his club’s decision to adopt the new RFL-driven Championship Scholarship Scheme for 16 to 18-year-olds, with a squad coached by Phil Costin, could have long-term benefits for amateur clubs as well as benefits for the Roughyeds.

Like his Hornets counterpart John Stankevitch, who is striving to pull together the different strands of the sport in Rochdale, Benson is keen to see Roughyeds playing an active role in the promotion and development of the game right across the Oldham area.

The Roughyeds’ association with the local Service Area, and it’s Co-ordinator/Development Officer Chris Chamberlain, will be an essential part of that objective.

Appointed in August, 30-year-old Chamberlain, a Wiganer, is steeped in rugby league, having played for St Pat’s and Scotland and, prior to his move to Oldham, having spent two years as Development Officer for Lancashire.

He heads an Oldham Service Area managerial team which also includes newly-appointed Steven Nield (community coach), former Great Britain international and ex-Roughyeds coach Steve Molloy (talent coach), Claire Robinson (volunteer co-ordinator) and Peter Brooke (match officials development officer).

There are also teams of coaches, covering all age groups. Andy Deakin, Joe Cooke, Chris Godfrey and Steve Baldwin will be supervising the under-13s in the Law Cup curtain-raisers, while Paul Highton, Steve Molloy, Mike Toothill and David Hughes will be looking after the under-14s.

Said Chamberlain: “We are working hard to increase participation in the sport and to support all the clubs across Oldham, and that includes the Roughyeds.

“There is a lot of young talent in Oldham and the town has great rugby league traditions, so I see my role as a big challenge and one I am relishing.

“We’ve been training at Manor Park, home of Oldham RU Club, but for obvious reasons we wanted to train at a rugby league club and Roughyeds have been brilliant in accommodating us and working alongside us.”

The under-13 and under-14 squads for the January 2 curtain-raisers are as follows:


COACHES Andy Deakin, Joe Cooke, Chris Godfrey, Steve Baldwin

Name Community club

Sam Ogden St Annes
Ciaran Dean
Oliver Russell St Annes
Patrick Casey St Annes
Ali Hassan
Oliver Brunt St Annes
Elliott Caine St Annes
Connor Chadderton Oldham Rugby Union
Sammy Ireland
Jacob Ford
Thomas Jowle
Callum Fletcher St Annes
Thomas Brisk Saddleworth Rangers
Harry Aaronson Saddleworth Rangers
Thomas McCluskey Oldham St Annes
Fionn Wall Saddleworth
Jacob Foley Oldham St Annes
Billy Barnes Waterhead
Ben Clarke
Jack Buckley
George Vick Saddleworth Rangers
Kieran John McGinnity Oldham St Annes
James Adams Saddleworth Rangers
Lewis Adams Saddleworth Rangers
Tom Brisk Saddleworth
Shaun Hurley St Annes
Rhys Travis Saddleworth
Harry Warhurst St Annes
Kiean Beswick
Brad Burgess St Annes
William Whitehead


COACHES – Paul Highton, Steve Molloy, Mike Toothill, Dave Hughes

Name Club
Robert Wood Waterhead
Thomas Wilson Waterhead
Aaron Longley
Callum Harmer St Annes
Alexander Jobson St Annes
Joshua Bennett Waterhead
Connell Kenworthy St Annes
Careron Wood
Cameron Cowin
Matthew Rigby
Izacc Johnson Waterhead
Matthew D’Adamo Waterhead
Sam Akeroyd St Annes
Ben Houraghan Waterhead
Christian Smith Waterhead
Jamie Bennett Waterhead
Joshua Berry St Annes
Jake Deakin St Annes
Ethan Kershaw
Luke Skilling
Joe Chadderton
Paul Mullen
James Tetlow Waterhead
Johnathan Aspin Waterhead
Zack Mather Waterhead
Adam Davis Waterhead
Jack Buckley Waterhead
Jack Morrison St Annes