Otley coach Tom Rock hopes stand off Cooper will be fit to return

Ben Cooper's goal kicking has been missed

Ben Cooper's goal kicking has been missed

First published in Sport Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Weeklies Sports Editor

Otley are hoping that first-choice stand off Ben Cooper will be fit to return for their home game with Preston Grasshoppers on Saturday.

In his absence Otley have used three different players and have missed his specialist goal-kicking skills.

Teenager Ben Fairclough made his debut at Hull Ionians on Saturday and earned praise from player-coach Tom Rock.

He said: “Ben is normally a full back or centre but he came in and did a good job.

“Myself and Nick Coupland have also won the number ten shirt in recent weeks, and we hope now that Ben is able to return.

“He took a knock while training with Scotland under-20s last month and hasn’t been able to shake it off.”

Rock felt that his side showed a lot of character against Hull Ionians.

“We gave them a 16-0 start, but I was pleased with the way the lads responded.

“We created opportunities but we weren’t precise enough in our execution.

“It is something we are working hard on in training and when we get it right I am sure the results will be worth waiting for.

“All of the players are striving to improve our execution and that, plus their determined mental approach, will stand us in good stead.”

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