Team news for SEAT Trophy

Date published: Friday, January 21, 2011

OLDHAM RL boss Tony Benson rings the changes in his squad to play Whitehaven at Whitebank on Sunday (3pm kick off), highlighted by the inclusion of the Roughyeds’ latest signing, Paul Noone.

The 29-year-old former Super League star, a top forward at Championship club Barrow in the last two seasons, is in a provisional squad of 20 for Oldham’s third and final pre-season game, which will be contested for the SEAT Trophy.

Whitehaven will bring the cup with them, having retained it last year when they beat Benson’s men at the Recreation Ground in Howard Hill’s testimonial match.

Roughyeds would love to win it for the first time and place it alongside the Law Cup, which they wrestled from Rochdale’s grasp with a 34-28 win at Whitebank three weeks ago.

“We’ll be going all out to win this one as well,” said Benson, “but in terms of preparation for the season ahead there are other things we need to do as well as strive to produce a winning performance.”

Jason Boults, John Clough, Ben Wood, Scott Mansfield and Jamie Knight, who have played in both friendlies so far, sit this one out and make way for others.

They are replaced by Martin Roden, Dave Ellison, Valu Bentley, Chris Clarke and Noone with Noone in line to make his Oldham debut and both hooker Roden and Clarke set to put on their boots for the first time this year.

Roden (30) will have lots on his plate in the months ahead as assistant coach and fitness conditioner, but he is reluctant to retire as a player, hence his inclusion in Sunday’s squad.

Added Benson: “These games are all about giving everybody in the squad a fair crack. After this third one we’ll be getting close to knowing what the starting line-up will be.

“We’ll be looking at the fringe players to see which areas of their game we need to work on and we’ll also be looking to perfect a basic plan which will stay with us all year.

“Having said all that, there is silverware on offer for the winners and we’ll be going flat out to win it.”

Seven replacements will be allowed, but the starting line-up and subs will not be determined until later.

Team (from): Heaton, Onyango, Fogarty, Williams, Bradbury, Gillam, N Roden, Diveney, Ashe, Ellison, Wood-Hulme, M Roden, Whitmore, Gilchrist, Sutton, Walker, Clarke, Isherwood, Noone, Bentley.

Whitehaven, building a new club after coming out of administration, have given the coaching job to long-serving player David Seeds and have appointed a new captain in another Recreation Ground stalwart, 30-year-old Spencer Miller.

Miller, who will have a ten-year testimonial this season, is expected to lead a young squad at Whitebank where he may have the backing of another ‘Haven loyalist and testimonial beneficiary in former Oldham Bears man Howard Hill.

Admission prices are: adults £12, concessions £10, under-16s £4. Concessions include the over-65s and students who are under 18 and in full-time education on production of valid students’ ID.