Post match presentations

Date published: Monday, May 17, 2010

FANS who stayed behind after the London Skolars game in the Whitebank clubhouse were witness to the official post-match speeches and presentations.

These will take place after every game in the concert room so that supporters can be in on the formalities and share the highs and lows of the day with players, coaches and club officials.

Opening the presentations, Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton welcomed the Skolars party, paid tribute to their performance on the field and then brought the house down when he said: “How good is it to be in our own social club at our own ground in our own town?”

He went on: “A phenomenal amount of work has gone on by a lot of people to get us to this point and I would like to publicly thank everyone for what has been achieved.

“It has been one fantastic effort by everyone associated with the club. The biggest plus for me is that for the first time we have our own ground and our own club on site where fans can mix and mingle with the players straight after the game.

“Support from fans has been instrumental in getting us to where we are today. For the first time in 13 years everyone has been able to work together for the benefit of the club.

“We still have a long way to go — this is just the start — but for the first time the rewards of all our labours are going into Oldham RL Club rather than some other club and for the first time we can start to make inroads into our overall situation, gaining in numbers in everything we do on and off the field.

“On the field there is a great spirit in the camp and it is typical of that, and of the willingness of all the lads to work for each other, that Danny Whitmore has come in and done a great job for us when asked to fill a difficult role in the halfbacks.”

He then announced that two of the younger members of the first-team squad had carried off the individual awards of man of the match and winner of the champagne moment prize, a bottle of bubbly.

Chris Clarke was named as man of the match and Ben Heaton as winner of the champange moment when he scored his long-range try down the middle.

Clarke carried the ‘made in Oldham’ trademark and although Heaton was a Rochdalian he was now, said Chris, an Oldhamer by adoption.

Chris Hamilton with man of the match Chris Clarke

“We want local lads playing for their hometown club,” said the chairman, “and it is a measure of the hard work that is going on at reserve team level that young chaps like Chris, Ben and Scott Mansfield have stepped up to senior status and are now making their mark at that level.

“It is what the club is all about and what coach John Hough and the reserves are all about and long may that continue.”

After Heaton and Clarke had received their awards and also the warm acknowledgement of the fans, it was Tony Benson’s turn to address supporters.

He told them: “This club and this ground mean so much to me because I have seen all the hard work that has gone on to make it happen.

“It has been fantastic.I have seen at first hand how supporters have been slogging day after day, and that has really got to me.

“I’ve spent time at a few clubs over the years but this one is unique, it really is. I am proud and privileged to be associated with it.”

The champagne moment belonged to Ben Heaton

Inviting John Hough to stand and take a bow, Tony went on: “I would like to pay tribute to John and the work he does with the reserves. Young guys like Chris, Ben and Scott have all come up through the reserves and have earned their places at senior level.

“What you’ve got to remember is that as soon as John gets boys like these up to a certain level we take them off him and he has to start all over again with the next group on the production line.

“All I can add is that while this situation exists and while we can keep bringing players through the ranks from the reserves the future is a bright one.”

The reserves play Featherstone Rovers on Wednesday night under the Whitebank floodlights (8.00pm kick off).

It will be their first home game of the season, having lost 42-30 at Featherstone and having won 26-18 at York.

Admission is £4 adults, £2 concessions and free for under-16s. Parking will cost £1 and fans are asked to use the car parks and NOT to park in the streets. Seats in the stand are available at no extra cost, first come, first served.

The club will be open as will the refreshment hut inside the ground.