Captain Palfrey re-signs

Date published: Wednesday, November 5, 2014
LEWIS Palfrey has described his arrival at Oldham two years ago as the best decision he ever made in his rugby league career.
After signing a new contract to stay at Whitebank for a third year, the club captain revealed that he put pen to paper on his first deal, ahead of the 2013 season, only because he had nowhere else to go.
He had previously played for Salford, Whitehaven and Batley and he was within days of flying out to Australia to play for a club in New South Wales when the move broke down. 
“By that time Oldham was the only club left available to me, but as things have worked out it was the best thing I ever did,” said the man who looks a banker bet to skipper Roughyeds again next season in the new, 14-club Kingstone Press League One.
“It’s funny how things can turn out. The aborted Aussie move left me up in the air and without a club. But I landed on my feet at Oldham. I love playing for the club. Oldham is home to me now, it just feels right.
“I’ve no interest in going anywhere else.
“I’m proud to captain a club that’s steeped in the sport’s history. And I have around me a great bunch of lads, who make captaincy easy for me.
“We have a few leaders; some who help me with the talking; others, like Danny Langtree, who don’t say much but lead by example. ‘Langers’ lets his rugby do the talking, but he’s the sort of player the others follow.”
With pre-season training due to start in less than a fortnight, November 18, Palfrey was at Salford Royal Hospital today for a scan on a groin injury that troubled him for the last two or three months of last season.
It was one of the reasons Steve Roper took over as goalkicker.
Added Palfrey: “The injury restricted me and in order for me to keep on playing it needed a lot of managing and a lot of rehab. I’m keeping fingers crossed I don’t need surgery.
“To be honest it doesn’t feel any better than it did at the end of the season. I still get a lot of pain, particularly when I first get up in the morning.”
Palfrey, 24, believes Oldham will enjoy another successful season in 2015 despite the addition to the division of five teams who were in the Championship last year —- Keighley, Rochdale, North Wales, Swinton and Barrow.
He said: “We’ve re-signed most of the lads who got us to the play-off final in the last two years and with the addition of one or two tasty newcomers it’s going to be very interesting to see how we go.
“The clubs coming down will raise the bar in more ways than one, but I’ll stick my neck out and say I see no reason why we can’t win it. Nobody will be better coached than we are, that’s for sure.”
Scott Naylor said he was pleased to have Palfrey for a third term and added: “I’ve known Lewis for a long time. He has many qualities, not least his captaincy.
“He leads the side well, and what a lot of people don’t know is that he played for the last eight or nine games of the season with a busted groin.
“I suffered a similar injury when I was at Bradford Bulls and it is very difficult to get through a game at 70 per cent fit with a problem like that.
“He coped with it without complaining, but he had it tough. He often played through the pain barrier.
“We didn’t say much publicly, but he just got on with it for the good of the team and club. He has a lot to offer and once his groin is repaired over the close season he will be back to his best.”