Squad Updates

Date published: Friday, July 2, 2010

LUKE Sutton apart, Roughyeds have a clean bill of health as they prepare to emerge from hibernation for Sunday’s first game in 21 days at Gateshead.

Several players carrying knocks have shaken them off during the three-week break, including Martin Roden (ankle), Matty Ashe (hip), Ben Heaton (thumb), Wayne Kerr (shoulder) and Craig Robinson (groin).

Sutton, however, is still having treatment and rehab on the knee injury he picked up in the win against Blackpool at Whitebank last month and which kept him out of the next game against Doncaster.

“He’s still about three weeks away,” said coach Tony Benson, who also revealed that Valu Bentley will not be involved in the trip to Tyneside because he is away on business and unavailable this weekend.

Bentley was among the substitutes in the 28-18 defeat of Doncaster last time out, this following a long lay-off with collar bone trouble, but his comeback has been cut short and put on hold.

The thumbs-up for Ashe after injury means Benson’s biggest decision will involve his half-backs and his choice of two from Neil Roden, Ashe and on-loan Gregg McNally.

The Roughyeds’ team chief has publicly acknowledged his high regard for all three by talking of his embarrassment of riches at half-back and describing the trio as being “among the best half-backs in the division.”

The squad from which final choice will be made is likely to comprise the 17 who played against Doncaster in the Roughyeds’ last game on June 13, minus Bentley but with the addition of Ashe, Robinson and Paul Reilly and possibly an addition from the Reserves team which plays Dewsbury Rams at Whitebank tonight (7.30pm kick off).

Oldham (from): O’Connor, Onyango, St Hilaire, Fogerty, Gillam, N Roden, McNally, Ashe, Boults, Clarke, M Roden, Whitmore, Kerr, Ellison, Robinson, Chandler, Heaton, Hodson, Reilly.

It will be a big day for full-back Paul O’Connor, who will be making his 100th cup and league appearance for the club.