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Oldham to begin pre-season with trip to Barrow
Thursday 29th November 2018 @ 13:44 by Mark Phillip
Oldham’s pre-season programme starts at Barrow on Sunday, January 13 (kick-off 3pm).
As many as eight new signings, including Danny Grimshaw, who’s back after a season away, could make Roughyeds debuts.
The others are Richie Hawkyard, Aaron Jones-Bishop and Anthony Bowman  (backs) plus Scott Law, Jamie Greenwood, Ben Calland and Emmerson Whittel (forwards).
When the team coach pulls into Craven Park it will be met by the Rev Tony Ford, who was club chaplain for several years until his ministry in the Church of England took him to Barrow last summer.
He has now accepted a chaplaincy role with the Raiders.
Said Roughyeds coach Scott Naylor: “Oldham’s loss is Barrow’s gain. They’re very lucky to have him. He will be sadly missed by us all.
“He was always there to listen if anybody at the club  needed somebody to talk to.
“It will be a challenge for him up there, but I know he’ll do a fantastic job at his new church and at the Barrow club.”
With so many new players on board, Naylor will regard this opening fixture as a bonding session as much as anything else.
He said: “We’ve played this one as a warm-up game for the past three or four years and it’s always a challenge because of the travel, the Cumbrian weather in January and the quality of the opposition.
“Hopefully, we’ll kick-start 2019 with a win, but win, lose or draw we’ll have a beer and a few laughs on the way back and enjoy some team bonding that will hopefully stand us in good stead further down the line.”
Don’t forget it’s the ORSA Quiz event in the Vestacare club tonight (8pm), while tomorrow (Friday) the office will be open from 10am to 3pm for the sale of season tickets.
By Roger Halstead