‘Whitebank Is Our Home’

Date published: Monday, October 5, 2015

WHITEBANK Stadium will continue to be home-sweet-home for Oldham once it is developed to match RFL requirements for Championship rugby league.

It falls short at present, but chairman Chris Hamilton has confirmed that relocation next season will be a temporary measure.

Speaking at the Roughyeds’ awards night and promotion celebration dinner, he said he still wasn’t in a position to announce anything about next season’s venue.

“Nobody is more frustrated about that than I am, but we are working hard on it and hopefully there will be something to announce in the not too distant future,” he said.

“Whitebank is our home and while it doesn’t currently meet Championship standards we don’t want to go back to those days when we had a nomadic existence with all the secondary spend that sort of existence entails.”

Looking ahead to life in the higher division, he said expectations in year one had to be realistic and to finish third from bottom, thus avoiding a quick return to League One, would be regarded as a successful start.

He added: “History will tell you that very few teams have gone up from League One and stayed up.

“However, safe in the knowledge that we have a good coach and a fantastic group of players, plus others who will hopefully be coming in, there is a real belief within the club that we can do a good job in that division.

“There is a lot of hard work to do, but something good is happening at this club. We have seen the start of it already and I think there is more to come.

“We can survive in the Championship, then consolidate, then move forward, but we need as much support, backing and help as we can get.”

For the second year running, second-row forwards Josh Crowley and Danny Langtree jointly won the player-of-the-year award, chosen by coach Scott Naylor, sponsored by Hathershaw Sports Cluster and presented by Lorna Phillip.

Said Naylor: “I’m lucky to have lots of quality lads so it was a very difficult decision, but these two give everything they have for their team and for their club every Sunday.”

Other awards:
Players’ player of the year (sponsored by the Oldham Evening Chronicle, presented by sports editor Kevin Richardson): Adam Neal.

Supporters’ player of the year (sponsored by ORSA, presented by John McAndrew): Lewis Palfrey.

Club man of the year (sponsored by Pam Taylor, presented by Chris Hamilton): Steven Nield.

Unsung hero (sponsored by LTS, presented by Clare Stanley): Adrian Tierney, kit manager.