Oldham sign amateur international Robinson

Date published: Monday, January 31, 2011

SHAUN Robinson, Saddleworth Rangers’ 21-year-old amateur international winger, has joined the paid ranks by signing for Oldham Rugby League Club.

Having earned rep honours for Great Britain (BARLA) under-21s in Russia and for Great Britain Community Lions (open age) in France, Robinson has departed the amateur arm of the sport in order to join Roughyeds on a one-year contract.

“This is a big opportunity for me,” said the pacy Robinson, an electrician who hopes to make the sparks fly on the flank of his hometown Oldham club.

He added: “I’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of me. I’ll be starting off in the reserves and working towards a call-up to the first-team squad.

“I think most Oldham lads who play rugby league would love a chance to wear the Roughyeds jersey, and I’m no exception. I can’t wait.”

The former Royton Tigers junior first played open-age rugby for Rangers when he was 16, but he was soon forced to miss a full season after a knee operation. He had five years at Rangers, during which time he also played a season as an amateur for Roughyeds reserves in 2009.

“We wanted to sign him then, but at that stage he was chasing amateur international honours. We totally respected his decision and the reasons for it,” said Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton.

“Having achieved his ambitions in that direction, he feels the time is right to join us. Everyone at Roughyeds thinks he is more than capable of establishing himself in our first team.

“We are delighted to be bringing in another talented local boy, who thought long and hard about his future before deciding to commit to Roughyeds.”

Robinson works full time for Hillcrest Electrical Contracting Ltd, owned and run by Phil Costin, a former Saddleworth under-18s coach and newly-appointed Roughyeds’ scholarship coach.

Reserve team boss John Hough, who was suitably impressed by Robinson’s performances in Oldham colours in 2009, said the youngster had all the makings of a good pro.

“He will start off in the reserves like so many of the young players who are now in the senior squad,” said Hough. “The rest will be up to him but we know he has the ability to do very well indeed.”

++ROUGHYEDS want to move the club’s offices from Lansdowne Road, Chadderton to Whitebank Stadium. Planning application to put offices inside the ground, close to the visitors’ dressing room, has been submitted to Oldham Council. A decision is expected no later than March 14.

Said club chairman Chris Hamilton: “If our application is granted the whole Roughyeds operation will be at one location for the first time since the club was formed in 1997.

“In terms of running the club and the business on a day-to-day basis that would improve things beyond measure for all concerned. It is an exciting prospect.”

++SEASON tickets, which cover home Northern Rail Cup group games starting with the visit of Hunslet Hawks to Whitebank on Sunday (3pm kick off), can be collected from Lansdowne Road after 2pm on Wednesday and up to 5pm on Friday. Uncollected books will then be available at Whitebank on Sunday, hopefully from a new ticket office situated close to the turnstiles.

Roughyeds ask fans to pick up season ticket books from Lansdowne Road if possible in order to ease congestion near the turnstiles on Sunday.