Ground: Crown Oil Arena (10,000)
Head Coach: Gary Thornton
Captain: Duane Straughier
Season 2023 finish: 5th League 1
Rochdale endured something of an up and down campaign in 2022 despite the Hornets finishing fifth and making the play-offs.
Arguably the most accomplished visiting team performances seen at the Mem last term, Rochdale triumphed in 13 of their 20 regular league games, leaving the Spotland outfit nine points clear of Oldham who occupied the final play-off place.
But Hornets fans would have been left wondering if 2023 was a campaign that fell into the ‘what might have been’ bracket as an indifferent final two months to the term resulted in Matt Calland relinquishing the reins with Gary Thornton his replacement.
Thornton has recruited a mix of experience and promising youngsters after many of the Hornets’ class of 2022, which included former New Zealand international Fuifui Moimoi and 2013 Man of Steel Rangi Chase left the club.
Former Choughs Joe Purcell, Toby Brannan and Cole Connolly have all joined Rochdale for this term, one which they will be confident of making the play-offs again, despite Thornton’s team and the club in general being very much in a transitional stage.
Quick Rochdale facts:
- Rochdale are one of the 22 original founding members of the North Football Union which formed out sport in 1895.
- Since rugby league moved to a summer sport, Rochdale’s best league finishes came in 2001, 2002, 2003 when the Hornets finished third in what is now known as the Championship.
Crown Oil Arena: Round 9; Sunday, May 21 (1.00 pm)
Memorial Ground: Round 22; Sunday, August 27 (1.00 pm)