Roughyeds aiming high
Date published: 27 September 2013
Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton has allayed fears that Whitebank might not be suitable for Championship rugby if the team beats Rochdale on Sunday.
With promotion riding on the outcome of the weekend’s Championship One play-off final against Hornets at Leigh, Roughyeds fans expressed fears that Whitebank might not get RFL approval for second-tier rugby league.
Hamilton says he knows work will need to be done - but won’t let that stand in the way of progressing to the next level.
Roughyeds have had seven seasons in tier three and have been beaten in four finals in a row — two with Steve Deakin as coach and two with Tony Benson. They now stand within 80 minutes of glory at the end of Scott Naylor’s first season as a head coach.
Hamilton, who has suffered five Grand-Final heartbreaks back to 2001, said: “Scott and Lee Spencer have done a fabulous job and the least they deserve, like the players, is to go up.
“In its current state Whitebank needs work to be done on it, but our plans do include Whitebank.
“We have been talking to the RFL for a long time and I can confirm that if we win we WILL be there next season.”
“A host of things is going on behind the scenes. It’s 16 years since we re-formed the club and in the current economic climate this has definitely been the most difficult in terms of finance, acquiring sponsorship and getting people through the turnstiles.
“What we have achieved on the field despite all that is testament to the bulldog spirit of coaches and players and the loyal backing of our diehard fans.”
Full-back Richard Lepori, meanwhile, expects a “feisty” final fling from the derby rivals.
He said: “We’ve had some close battles this season and they've all been full of passion. They are beating us 2-1 in league and play-off games, so we’ve a chance to put the record straight.
“As long as we play like we did against London last time out we are confident we can win.
“A club like Oldham, with its history and support, deserves to be in the Championship. We’ll be going all out to take it there.”
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