Josh Jordan-Roberts excited by new challenge with Rochdale

Photo courtesy of Rochdale Hornets and Jackie Meredith

Rochdale forward Josh Jordan-Roberts says he’s looking forward to an exciting season in the Betfred League 1 with the Hornets.

Jordan-Roberts featured in Matt Calland’s squad in the club’s pre-season friendly win over North Wales Crusaders, and made his official club debut against West Wales Raiders in the opening game of the season.

Four tries from captain Sean Penkywicz helped the Hornets secure a 40-16 victory in a man of the match performance from the bench in a year in which the club celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Jordan-Roberts said: “I’m really pleased to get the first game in. I’ve been champing at the bit to get going. It’s been a long time coming with everything that’s been going on in the world. 

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“In terms of the game itself, we have a few areas we need to fix up going forward but there’s a lot of new partnerships and combinations in the squad so we are constantly learning.

“It’s a very exciting 150th anniversary year ahead I’m sure. There’s going to be a lot going on, on and off the field to celebrate. With the date for fans being back in the stadium closing in too, I’m sure it’ll be a great atmosphere around the club. 

“League 1 this year is possibly the most competitive it’s ever been so every fixture should be an exciting watch.”

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Rochdale travel to the Keepmoat Stadium this Sunday to face promotion-chasing rivals Doncaster, with the game live on Our League, in what will be the club’s first of six away fixtures before returning to the Crown Oil Arena against North Wales.

The Dons have recently added Wakefield youngster Oliver Greensmith to their squad on a season-long loan, while Richard Horne’s side is full of experience, including Papua New Guinea international Watson Boas, Ireland international Ben Johnston and former Super League prop Ryan Boyle.

Jordan-Roberts added: “We’ve got a tough run now but the main focus has to be taking each game one at a time and not dwelling too much on the fact we’re away for a big chunk of the season. 

“The good thing is that it means we have more home games at the business end of the year.

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“You can always guarantee it’ll be a tough game versus Doncaster. They play their pitch really, really well. They’ve got some big middles so our defence will have to be up there with similar intensity to how it was versus West Wales.

“It’ll be good to see how a former coach of mine Chris Plume has affected their squad as he’s a top quality coach and pushes the best out of the players.”

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