Training started for reserves

Date published: Wednesday, November 17, 2010

JOHN Hough’s Roughyeds’ class of 2011 has been strengthened by the arrival of two young guns from Warrington Wolves in back-row forwards Alex Thompson and Chris Dean.

Thompson (21), who can also play hooker, was in the Wolves first-team squad last season and made the occasional appearance in Super League.

Both he and Dean have joined a Roughyeds’ reserve team squad which currently comprises of 21 young hopefuls, with several more lined up to join Hough’s feeder team when their amateur club commitments are over.

Hough has already set high standards by starting early on pre-season work and ordering four training sessions a week — three in the gym at Viking Fitness in Lees, plus a Saturday session at the Radclyffe Athletics Centre in Chadderton.

Viking Fitness in Lees

“My goal for 2011, as ever, is to produce more players for the first team,” said Hough, who believes the club’s link-up with Viking Fitness will prove to be a key element in his plans.

Chris Clarke, Ben Heaton and Scott Mansfield came through the reserves, as did the latest additions to the first-team squad — Johnny Walker, Mick Diveney and Alistair Williams.

Hoping to follow them eventually are five young hopefuls who are half way through two-year deals — Michael Ward, Austen Barrowclough, Jacob Kinney, Ross Coates and Ben Marsden.

New recruit Matthew Fogarty, an 18-year-old centre, will also fancy his chances, operating alongside skipper Jamie Knight and another of Hough’s more experienced men, Mark Smith.

Also back for their first full season under Hough will be Lewis Brookes from Salford and Stephen Lynch and Tommy Connick, both from St Helens.

Players from out of town who can’t make the three-times-a-week sessions at Viking Fitness are linked to Hough’s on-line internet data base which sets them individual weight-programme targets and monitors their diet.

“Proper preparation in pre-season is vital,” said Hough. “It helped us to make the play-offs last year and this time we hope to do even better.”

Roughyeds remind fans that to get the best deals on season tickets they need to be bought before Christmas. The club is looking for income from season-ticket sales to provide cash flow at a time when players are being signed, work needs to be done to improve facilities at Whitebank and there is little money coming in.

The office in Lansdowne Road, Chadderton (tel: 0161 628 3677) is open for the sale of season tickets Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Also on sale, at £20, is the latest book from the Oldham RL Heritage Trust, ‘Watersheddings Memories’.