‘Fletch’ goes back to his roots
Reporter: Roger Halstead
Date published: 17 March 2021
Roughyeds forward Matthew Fletcher has taken on the challenge of coaching Waterhead under-13s.
As a thank-you, parents and officials have had a whip-round to raise the £375 required to sponsor the young Oldham second-rower for the 2021 Betfred Championship season.
Fletcher (21), himself a product of a Waterhead youth system that has produced scores of professionals, headed by Kevin Sinfield and Barrie McDermott, said: "I didn't think twice when Jon Perks asked me to help out.
"I moved to Waterhead from Saddleworth when I was 11 and I was at the club until I was 16, when I signed for Bradford.
"I watch most of the first team's home games because a few of my mates are in it. It's a very closely knit club. We all look after each other.
"I've never done any coaching before but people have been coaching me at all levels since I was nine and now it's brilliant to be given the opportunity to put something back into the local community game, to which I owe so much to Waterhead."
Matthew Taylor, a youth coach at Waterhead for several years, said the club was delighted to welcome 'Fletch' back on board.
He added: "He's one of our own and he's sure to be instilling into the lads the good habits and principles that he himself was taught only a few years ago.
"It helps when you've come through the system yourself. We're looking forward to Matthew doing a great job for us with the under-13s.
"We're grateful too. That's why we've raised the £375 to sponsor him at Roughyeds."
Of the Roughyeds' 29-man squad plus three coaches -- Matt Diskin, Brendan Sheridan and Jode Sheriffe -- only ten are still available to be sponsored.
They are stand-off Lewis Charnock, club captain and hooker Gareth Owen (another Waterhead product), young prop Tyler Dupree, experienced second-row man Shaun Pick and youngsters Callum Green, Max Roberts, James Barran, Ben Holcroft, Joe Hartley and John Hutchings.
Sponsored already are:
Dan Abram (Rugby Oldham)
Tommy Brierley (David and Val Webster)
Ben Heaton (Stephen Butterfield)
Cam Leeming (Anne Kearns)
Ryan Ince (Oldham RL Heritage Trust)
Dave Hewitt (Gordon Sedgwick)
Phil Joy (Past Players' Assn)
Jack Spencer (Graeme Lee)
Danny Langtree (David and Val Webster)
Liam Bent (Pam Taylor/LTS)
Martyn Reilly (Dynesty Denture Solutions)
Matty Wilkinson (John and Lynda McAndrew)
Luke Nelmes (Gareth Hughes)
Liam Kirk (Fab-Tec Installations Ltd)
Matthew Fletcher (Waterhead under-13s)
Kyran Johnson (Mick Harrop)
Danny Bridge (Gerald Brierley)
Declan Gregory (John and Lynda McAndrew).
Matt Diskin (Property Buying Company)
Brendan Sheridan (Property Buying Company)
Jode Sheriffe (Property Buying Company)
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