Roughyeds Friday

Date published: Friday, June 1, 2012

NEIL Roden is targeting Oldham RL Club’s next game at North Wales Crusaders on June 10 for his long-awaited comeback after injury.

If he makes it, the Roughyeds captain will be back to lead the side for the first time in nine weeks, during which time he has watched in anguish as an injury-hit squad has lost five and drawn one of its last six league games.

“I’ve never been out for so long before,” he said, “and now I’m just itching to get playing again.

“I’ve found it very hard to watch at a time when the team hasn’t been doing very well.

“You try to help in any way you can, but when you’re not on the field you don’t feel part of it. I just hope we can get a few more of the lads back when we start the second half of our league programme at Wrexham on Sunday week.”

With no game this Sunday the players have had a mid-season break — an arrangement that was planned at the start of the year.

When they report back for training on Tuesday, Roden expects to be at the head of the queue.

“I’ve done some running and ball work already,” he added, “and the plan is that I will train normally next week and hopefully be ready to throw my hat into the selection ring for the game against North Wales.

“In two of the four sessions leading up to the South Wales game I did all the running that everyone else did, and I played in a non-contact game against the reserves.

“I also did a bit of kicking and that felt all right.

“I wast sore afterwards, but that was to be expected.”

Up to 31-year-old Roden going down with a torn thigh muscle in the opening minutes of the game at Rochdale on Good Friday, Roughyeds boasted three wins from three games and sat on top of the table.

He was injured when he went to make a tackle. His opponent’s knee caught him on his left thigh and the Oldham stand-off knew right away that something was seriously wrong.

It turned out to be a four-inch tear in the muscle.

Scans also revealed a problem with his left knee, for which he has an appointment with a specialist on Wednesday.

Said Neil: “I didn’t even know there was anything wrong with the knee, so I’m guessing its probably just the effects of wear and tear.

“I’m keeping fingers crossed that if anything needs to be done it can wait until the end of the season.”

There’s only one Championship One game this weekend and that’s Rochdale v Workington at Spotland on Sunday (3pm).

Workington are third with 20 points from eight games; Oldham are fifth with 15 points from nine; Rochdale are sixth with 13 from nine.

Roughyeds will be sweating on the Cumbrians doing them a favour.

Said Hornets boss John Stankevitch: “The top three as they stand will go up. That leaves Hornets, Oldham and Whitehaven fighting for fourth place.

“We need to win on Sunday to kick-start our season.”

Roughyeds reserves play Halifax at Whitebank next Thursday (7.45pm) and the under-18s play Fax at home next Saturday, June 9 (2.30pm).

Ring The Junction on (0161) 633 2759 to book free transport or to reserve a seat, at £10, on a supporters’ bus to the North Wales game at Wrexham.