Danny’s player-of-month award

Date published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
SCOTT Naylor is looking for big things from his in-form second-rowers Danny Langtree and Josh Crowley in Sunday’s top-three clash with York City Knights at Whitebank.
Lauding Langtree on the day he was named Championship One player of the month, Oldham’s head coach said the rating was no more than he richly deserved.
“He’s a quality player and a quality person,” said Naylor, of the 23-year-old former St Helens academy forward, whose two tries in the 48-28 win against Oxford last time out took his season’s total to five in eight games.
Only winger Dale Bloomfield can match that as ‘Langers’ heads into the important clash with York as his side’s leading try-scoring forward.
Added Naylor: “It’s good that Danny should receive a divisional ‘best player’ gong because it shows that people outside Oldham are sitting up and taking note.
“I’m delighted for him. He was pipped at the post by Phil Joy for our club player-of-the-year award in 2013 and this season he’s playing even better than he was then.
“He’s a dream to coach and he gives me 100 per cent in every game.”
With Langtree wide on the right and 22-year-old Crowley wide on the left, Naylor knows he has a twin second-row strike force that can claim to be as good and as consistent as anything in the division.
Crowley (22), once of Widnes Vikings, has played in every game since he arrived at Whitebank for the start of last season — 32 in total.
Langtree has packed down alongside him in the Oldham scrum in every game bar one.
“They are our two form players this season,” summed up Naylor. “They played exceptionally well as a pair last season and this year they’ve kicked on again.
“That in itself is a credit to them. When you’ve had a good season it’s always hard to do it again the year after.”
Paddy Mooney, who has a back injury, wasn’t able to train last night so he’s out of the reckoning for the York game (3pm kick off), as is long-standing injury victim Liam Thompson.
Adam Files (knee) is no more than a “possible”, but Naylor will still have selection headaches and none more so than at half-back where on-loan Steve Roper is itching to get his first game while Brett Robinson and Lewis Palfrey stand in his way.
Skipper Palfrey gave an outstanding performance against Oxford — his best of the season so far.
York boss Gary Thornton has a similar poser at full-back. He rested James Haynes last week and his replacement Ben Reynolds, a young player on dual registration from Castleford, had a blinder.
Reynolds, two-try winger Ben Dent, on-loan centre James Saltonstall and stand-off Pat Smith are all in the latest Championship One team of the week.
“Oldham will be a tough test for us,” said Thornton. “They are a massive team. They will take us on down the middle and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them.”