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Oxford RLFC news thread


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#21 John Drake

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:28 AM

Oxford sign for Clarke

Oxford are delighted to announce the signing of 23 year old back row forward Chris Clarke who joins the club from Oldham Roughyeds. Clarke who can also play prop and loose forward has been with Oldham since he was a 17 year old rookie where he came through the club's youth system. He made his professional debut against Leigh in 2009 and has captained Lancashire in the past.
"He is a big strong aggressive player, and will get us going around the field as he makes good runs, he is the type of player who you would want to go to war with and the sort of forward the opposition are glad to see the back of him," smiled Tony Benson
Chris was delighted at joining Oxford. "I am thrilled to be here and to be a part of history. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and putting Oxford on the map."

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#22 BBR

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:30 PM

Seems to be a very strong Oldham connection at Oxford. Not sure if that is a good thing or not. Looking forward to seeing how they go this year

#23 Manx RL

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:52 PM

Seems to be a very strong Oldham connection at Oxford. Not sure if that is a good thing or not. Looking forward to seeing how they go this year


Are the players training in Oldham (or nearby) and travelling down to Oxford for games?
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#24 Saintslass

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:18 PM

Seems to be a very strong Oldham connection at Oxford. Not sure if that is a good thing or not. Looking forward to seeing how they go this year

The coach has basically taken a bunch of them from Oldham to Oxford with him according to an interview League Express this week. He is coaching the squad in two halves on a Tuesday (Oldham based players and Oxford based players) and together on another night of the week, down in Oxford.

I think Oldham was struggling enough as it was without their squad being raided.

#25 Northern Sol

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:28 PM

Maybe so but it's no more than fair competition for players. I imagine that Oldham signed players from community clubs without losing too much sleep over "raiding squads".

#26 Saintslass

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:23 PM

Maybe so but it's no more than fair competition for players. I imagine that Oldham signed players from community clubs without losing too much sleep over "raiding squads".

I'm sure they did although community clubs are likely to have perceived their players going into the professional game as kudos to them.

#27 Marauder

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:07 AM

Are the players training in Oldham (or nearby) and travelling down to Oxford for games?

I can't think of one case where this system has worked for any length of time.

Edited by Marauder, 22 January 2013 - 12:08 AM.

Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.



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#28 ruffyed

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:28 AM

Not sure if it is accurate to describe Oldhams squad as being raided .With the arrival of a new coaching set-up I think most if not all of the departures were inevitable given the below par performances of last season . In recent years we have had some success in promoting the best young players from the reserves and several Championship clubs were chasing their signatures but with the exception of Alex Thompson they have all stuck by Oldham . They will probably make up about half of our starting 13 this year . Regular stalwart Neil Roden is still with us and the rest of the squad is mostly made up of ex U20 SL players .
With so many changes it is too early to say for certain how we will go this year but I am more confident of success this year than I have been for some time . Think that the games against Rochdale and Crusaders are far more crucial in terms of who will be promoted but the abundance of ex Roughyeds at Oxford will certainly add spice to those fixtures.
I also agree that it is far from ideal from Oxfords point of view to have seperate training sessions for their northern based players as team morale may suffer from there being 2 distinct factions within the same squad . Time will tell .

#29 del capo

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:08 AM

I can't think of one case where this system has worked for any length of time.


I agree.

It never worked for Runcorn / Liverpool in its various forms or Blackpool , .Chorley etc. out of Wigan , much . shorter distances for travel and a better talent pool than Oldham., but still unwound . Ask Martin Crompton, I think he was the last to attempt that effort.....

If this is their business model , major problems before they even kick off ????

#30 keighley

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:30 AM

I agree.

It never worked for Runcorn / Liverpool in its various forms or Blackpool , .Chorley etc. out of Wigan , much . shorter distances for travel and a better talent pool than Oldham., but still unwound . Ask Martin Crompton, I think he was the last to attempt that effort.....

If this is their business model , major problems before they even kick off ????


If they do as well as Blackpool did under Crompton, they can be well content for an inaugral season. Blackpool won a lot of games and got to the later stages of the playoffs. The problen was the money man quit.

#31 del capo

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:56 AM

If they do as well as Blackpool did under Crompton, they can be well content for an inaugral season. Blackpool won a lot of games and got to the later stages of the playoffs. The problen was the money man quit.


Crompton is a very good coach. He recruited well from a fairly limitless resource just 40 minutes down the road but it fell apart midway through the season.

Now try operating 3 hours each way from your home field on a part time basis.........

#32 Mumby Magic

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:18 AM

You've heard it here first, they're going to get promoted first time.

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#33 del capo

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:32 AM

Championship One , along with NCL 3 and the new Conference South will certainly provide great interest this year.

#34 bowes

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

Yeah NCL3 will see the return of all founder members to the NCL and as well as the two expansion clubs will have a Derby each in Wigan, St Helens and Warrington. Should be much stronger than division 2 as well.

#35 Marauder

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:15 AM

Crompton is a very good coach. He recruited well from a fairly limitless resource just 40 minutes down the road but it fell apart midway through the season.

Now try operating 3 hours each way from your home field on a part time basis.........


This is why I fear for the new expansion clubs, In the past you ended up with semi-Pro clubs who in reality would struggle in the Pennine Premier never mind the NCL, I also have a fear of teams like Oldham slipping downwards in playing standard as clubs have to spend on required off field standards.
Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.



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#36 Marauder

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

Yeah NCL3 will see the return of all founder members to the NCL and as well as the two expansion clubs will have a Derby each in Wigan, St Helens and Warrington. Should be much stronger than division 2 as well.

Bowes how many NCL games have you ever been and watched?
Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.



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#37 bowes

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:28 AM

Bowes how many NCL games have you ever been and watched?

Depends if you count last year's division 3?

But Dewsbury Celtic found NCL2 easier than they did RLCN with little difference in team. Featherstone Lions didn't but that's to do with not being able to use NCL players.

Thus years NCL3 will be stronger than last year's with top NWML sides and Kells entering as well. Top regional sides usually out perform NCL2 sides on the field in cups.

#38 South Wakefield Sharks

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:47 AM

Oxford Swoop for RAF trio

Oxford's recruitment today continued with the signing of backrower Alan Blewitt, He has played for the Combined Services at both Rugby League and Rugby Union, and has represented the GB Armed Forces at the last World Cup in 2008 and will also be representing them again in this year's tournament which is due to be held in the UK. Alan has also represented Henley and Chinnor Rugby Union Clubs.
"He is a big back row forward who stood out in the trials, he's very strong defensively, experienced and just loves playing rugby league," announced a delighted Tony Benson
We are also delighted to announce Ozzy Hicks and Phil Cavanagh will be joining the club's backroom staff.
Hicks will be coming on board as a sports and remedial massage therapist and said on joining Oxford "After many years playing Rugby League for the RAF, Combined Services and Oxford Cavaliers, this is a fantastic opportunity for me to put something back into Rugby League especially in the great City of Oxford. I am sure there will be a few doubters but with the professionalism and enthusiasm of the set-up I am now involved with, I am certain we will surprise many people."
Cavanagh will be the club's new kit manager and said "Having been based at RAF Benson for the past 18 months with very little Rugby league in the area I was really excited to hear about a new team starting up in Oxford. A couple of my friends told me about it and said there would be an open trial for player recruitment, as head coach of RAF Benson, that got me excited as it was a chance for some of my players to show what they could do. I was then told the club were looking for a Kit Manager and would I be interested in this post. I had a few chats with the Head Coach, Tony Benson, and accepted the offer straight away."
"It is a very exciting time now being involved with Oxford RL from its very start and I look forward to helping the club grow and establishing Rugby League in the South. I never thought I’d be involved with Rugby League at this level so I am very grateful to Tony and everybody else at Oxford RL for giving me the opportunity."


This press release hints at one of the key aims of the inclusion of Hemel, Oxford & Gloucester in the semi-pro ranks.

There are lots of people who have a league connection who do not live in the so called heartlands. Often those people are lost to the game when they move. These semi-pro clubs are ways that people can be kept within the rugby league family and the rugby league family can connect with new people with new money and new ideas to help build the game.

It's not all about trying to find a new club that's going to win Super League and play in front of 10,000 fans every other week in a shiny new stadium within a few years.

#39 tim2

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

I hope Oxford's strategy is to use this recruitment from the North as a way of starting well and attracting crowds from a base of zero. It's probably not sustainable for more than a season or two. However if they use that time wisely to pull in more locally based players (RU, Army, Broncos Academy players etc.) and raise them to a better standard while they transition then it may just work.

They are looking quite strong though.
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#40 John Drake

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:41 AM

They're certainly doing a lot of swooping down Oxford way...

Oxford swoop for Burch

Oxford's recruitment plans continued today with the signing of 25 year old fullback Ian Burch. Burch who can also play at centre or on the wing has previously played for Bracknell RFC and Old Patesians RFC and has also represented Hampshire at county level.
Coach Tony Benson said of his latest recruit, "Ian was the stand out at the trials, he is extremely elusive and has excellent agility. He is not the biggest but certainly one of the strongest and is an excellent passer of the ball."
Ian was delighted at joining Oxford and said, "I am looking forward to the challenge ahead, we have put together a fantastic squad which has so much talent and I am looking forward to playing my part in that. My aim is to score lots of tries and to develop as a player."

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