Recruiting plans

Date published: Friday, July 5, 2013
OLDHAM RL hope to bring in a player on loan from a Championship club in time for him to strengthen the squad at Oxford on Sunday.

Coach Scott Naylor has also had talks with Salford City Reds boss Brian Noble, who has made players available to him on dual registration.

Talks on both fronts were set to continue today in the hope that Naylor will have a strong squad in place ahead of tomorrow’s final training session of the week.

Captain Lewis Palfrey and utility man Kenny Hughes have recovered from minor injuries, but prop Liam Gilchrist remains a slight doubt with a calf strain. He will have a late fitness test.

Naylor will pick from the 17 who last week beat Gateshead Thunder 44-12 away plus Steve Nield, Neil Roden, Niall Bradley and, maybe, a couple of newcomers.

Oldham (from): Lepori, Agoro, Cookson, Ford, Bloomfield, Nield, Hughes, Palfrey, N Roden, Gilchrist, Gee, Files, Joy, Ward, Mason, Crowley, Langtree, Hobson, Thompson, Bradley, A N Other, A N Other.

Said Naylor: “We will be ready for a tough game, which will have a derby feel to it because of Oxford’s many connections with the Oldham team of the past few seasons.

“We are a different side to the one which Oxford narrowly beat at Whitebank in April and we are looking forward to going down there, playing well and seeing what happens.”

Oxford, five points behind Roughyeds and with a hugely inferior for-and-against record, will give a late test to former French international forward Andrew Bentley, Valu’s brother.

Coach Tony Benson will demand a big response from his players after last week’s shock home defeat by bottom-club Gloucester All Golds.

He said: “Oldham have strengthened their squad and they’ve been racking up points
“We’ll have to improve a lot on last week’s performance, in terms of using our brains, otherwise we’re in trouble.”
Oxford (from): Leather, Burch, Halliwell, Johnson, S Robinson, Connick, B Robinson, Hadden, Clough, A Bentley, Baird, V Bentley, M Roden, Hoggins, Ellison, Thompson, Calladine, Clarke, Onyango.
Ten of those are former Oldham players — Danny Halliwell, Shaun Robinson, Tommy Connick, John Clough, Valu Bentley, Martin Roden, David Ellison, Alex Thompson, Chris Clarke and Lucas Onyango.
Prop Matty Hadden, who had a big game at Whitebank, hails from Rochdale where he used to play for Littleborough amateur RL club.