Teen Jake set for Siddal debut

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SIDDAL will give a debut to teenage playmaker Jake Smith in tomorrow’s National Conference clash at Rochdale Mayfield.

Smith, the 16 year old grandson of former top referee Jim Smith, has been called on to the bench for the trip to Lancashire because of fitness doubts over starting pair Chris Brooke and Steve Illingworth.

“Jake’s shown some nice touches and he deserves a chance,” said Siddal coach Lee Greenwood, who is also deprived of the services of regular number six Shaun Garrod and loose forward Luke Simeunovich, who are both unavailable.

“In an ideal world, I’d probably rest Brooke and Illingworth this week because they are both carrying injuries and probably shouldn’t play.

“But the club is putting three teams out again so we’re going to start them and see how they go.

“I don’t know how long they’ll last, so Jake will get plenty of gametime.”

Greenwood will welcome back centre Chris Marsh for his first start of the truncated season and insists the side should be good enough to overcome potentially dangerous opponents.

“If we don’t win, the teamsheet is never an excuse for us,” said Greenwood.

“They’re a decent side, but if we turn up with our right heads on and play as we can do, then we should have enough to get the result.”