Roughyeds Reserves presentation night

Date published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012

PHIL Joy, a third-year student of maths and economics at Leeds University, will never forget the week of his 21st birthday.

He made his senior debut for his hometown Oldham Rugby League Club at Gateshead on the Sunday, became a key-of-the-door birthday boy on the Tuesday, picked up two major awards at the reserve team’s end-of-season presentation night on the Friday and rounded off eight memorable days by getting a late call-up to the Roughyeds side that was desperately unlucky to lose 34-29 in a play-off at Workington last Sunday.

“Now I can organise my birthday bash,” said the former Waterhead forward. “Everything had to go hold when Martin Roden (caretaker coach) called me up into the first-team squad. Even at the reserve team presentation night it was soft drinks only for me.”

Joy, who has served his rugby league apprenticeship over a three-year period in the reserves, won that team’s Supporters’ player-of-the-year award, backed by ORSA (Oldham Roughyeds Supporters’ Association) and then added the top award of the night, coach Paul Ashton’s choice as player of the year, sponsored by OHM Electrical.

Said Ashton: “There were three or four in for it and then I narrowed it down to the two props, but Phil Joy just shaded it ahead of Danny Langtree.”

Other awards were as follows:

Most improved player (sponsored by software firm 7L7L), hooker Kenny Hughes.

Unsung hero (Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre), Adam Walker.

Players’ player of the year (Doughty’s Gym, Shaw), Danny Langtree.

Ashton presented personal awards to two fellow members of the Roughyeds staff — office manager Janet Yewdale and his asisstant coach Mark Brocklehurst — whose assistance over the season, he said, had been invaluable.

Club chairman Chris Hamilton publicly thanked every member of the squad and backroom staff and paid a special tribute to the work of the “chuckle brothers” — Ashton and Brocklehurst — for “devotion beyond the call of duty”.

He said the club was proud to be the only member of Championship One, the sport’s third tier, with a reserve team and it was the intention to run it again in 2013 despite planned changes by the sport’s authorities which would make it more difficult.

Each of the Roughyeds’ three presentation evenings — the first team function is at Whitebank on Friday — is sponsored by Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre.

Tickets for Friday’s event, priced £20 including three-course meal and entertainment, are available from the Roughyeds office in Lansdowne Road, Chadderton (tel:0161 628 3677).