Squad Numbers

Date published: Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Coach Tony Benson has thrown down a challenge to those Oldham Roughyeds players who failed to win a jersey when the Kiwi boss named his initial 25-strong senior squad.

Players have squad numbers these days and they wear that number irrespective of which position they occupy in the team on any given match day.

Selection is not restricted to players with squad numbers, but to have one is a status symbol in the dressing room pecking order.

Ten young players, including Michael Ward, Ben Marsden, Jacob Kinney and Londoner Jack Graves, failed to make the cut but Benson has left room for more to be promoted during the course of the season.

“Ben Heaton worked his way up last season,” he said, “and there will be others trying to do the same in the coming months.

“Squad numbers are not awarded lightly. They have to be earned. The players who have not got a number in this initial 25 realise that and they will be working hard to get one.”

There are six Oldhamers in the 25 —Mick Fogerty, John Gillam, Danny Whitmore, Chris Clarke, Mark Brocklehurst and Scott Mansfield.

Clarke, Mansfield and Heaton, who comes from Rochdale, are in their third season, having joined the club as reserve-team rookies in 2008.

Squad numbers: 1, Paul O’Connor; 2, Lucas Onyango; 3, Craig Littler; 4, Mick Fogerty; 5, John Gillam; 6, Neil Roden; 7, Matty Ashe; 8, Jason Boults; 9, Martin Roden; 10, Dave Ellison; 11, Saqib Murtza; 12, Kashley Watkins; 13, Joe Chandler; 14, Gary Sykes; 15, Craig Robinson; 16, Wayne Kerr; 17, Danny Whitmore; 18, Chris Clarke; 19, Ben Heaton; 20, Mark Brocklehurst; 21, Valu Bentley; 22, Paul Reilly; 23, Ben Mellor; 24, Marcus St Hilaire; 25, Scott Mansfield