Roughyeds return to training after 9-month delay
Reporter: Roger Halstead
Date published: 09 December 2020
Oldham Roughyeds have been out of action since the start of the pandemic.
After an enforced absence of nine months, Roughyeds were back in training for the first time on Tuesday night as pre-season work for the 2021 Betfred Championship campaign got under way.
In typical pre-season weather -- constant rain -- the players were delighted to be back in the old routine, doing what they love best as a squad, albeit "different" this year because of anti-Covid protocols.
After following these RFL guidelines each step of the way, including online instruction for players and staff, the club eventually got written confirmation of permission to return to training two hours before the start of the session.
After such a long break, and restrictions on the kind of training players have been able to do away from the club, it was always going to be a test for all concerned, both physically and mentally.
One player who didn’t enjoy it was centre Cameron Leeming, who lasted only two minutes before breaking his nose badly after a clash of heads with new-boy Ryan Ince. Leeming was forced to sit out the rest of the session before heading to hospital in Leeds, where he lives.
Club chairman Christopher Hamilton said: ”A lot of work has gone into getting us to this stage. The lads were chomping at the bit to get back to training. A few of them will be feeling it later, but importantly we have taken a big step towards some kind of normality, with the ultimate aim of playing matches in front of our fans as soon as possible."
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