Rugby League at Bower Fold

Stalybridge Celtic chairman Rob Gorski has announced a groundshare agreement with Oldham Rugby League Club.

Gorski said: “I have long said to the Board that we need to "sweat the asset" that is Stalybridge Celtic, much more. In simple terms, we cannot simply use the place once every two weeks. We need to have a new social club that, ideally, will be two stories high where we can rent it out several days a week, we need to utilise the lounge more often and so on. Similarly, we need to look at optimising the pitch itself.

“With that in mind, I am delighted to announce that 2016 will see us have a groundshare - with a difference! Commencing Sunday, 7th February, we shall be hosting the home games for Oldham Rugby League Club. This will continue until the end of the rugby league season, which is September.

“Oldham's chairman Chris Hamilton rang me a couple of weeks ago explaining their situation and although, after SIX failed attempts to gain promotion to the Championship, they finally succeeded last season, they still needed a Championship-graded ground to play in. Oldham hosted St Helens at our ground in 2002 with over 4,000 watching. We hope that Oldham can enjoy many more great days at Bower Fold in the months ahead.

“I have discussed the whole concept with manager Liam Watson and, being a very commercially astute guy, he sees the bigger picture and is right behind the new partnership. Rugby league does not have contested scrums where union player did deep in to the surface and they use tees now for conversions too. Moreover, we play on the Saturday, then Oldham on the Sunday and so Pete Owens, our brilliant groundsman, will actually have twelve days to get the pitch ready for our next home game

“Financially, it is much-needed revenue and we cannot turn away this opportunity. I think that it is great for the club and for local fans, it's also an opportunity to watch Championship level rugby league with teams like the Bradford Bulls coming to visit.”

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