Jack’s the lad for OldhamDate published: Tuesday, October 6, 2015
PROMOTED Oldham have further strengthened their squad for Championship rugby next year with the capture of their assistant coach’s lad, 24-year-old former Salford, Barrow and Halifax forward Jack Spencer.
Having also played in Australia and France, Spencer comes on a one-year contract with an option for a second year.
He links up at Whitebank with his father Lee Spencer, better known as ‘Spanner’, who has had three years as head coach Scott Naylor’s No 2 and, like Naylor, is under contract to Roughyeds until the end of the 2017 season.
Said Naylor: “Jack has had the last two years at Halifax and that alone gives an indication of his quality.
“I’ve known him since he was in his early ‘teens and I know what he can do and what he can bring to our squad.
“He’s a good pro who lives and breaths the game and he will see this as an opportunity for him to become one of our team leaders.
“He will certainly be one of the most experienced forwards we have, having already had a lot of games in the Championship as well as playing overseas.”
A product of Swinton amateurs Folly Lane, the 6ft 1in, near-16st prop or loose-forward passed through the youth system at Salford and went on to make seven Super League appearances before he was 21.
He then went to Sydney for a year, playing for Balmain, the main feeder club for NRL outfit West Tigers.
On his return to England he made 16 Championship appearances for Barrow in 2013 before heading to France where he played in the Elite League with Villeneuve Leopards.
In total, for Barrow and Halifax, he has played in more than 40 games at Championship level.
Said Spencer jnr: “I worked with Scott and my dad at Salford, where my dad was then assistant coach of the under-18s and Scott was head coach of the under-21s.
“They are both quality coaches and I’m looking forward to being part of what they’ve got going at Oldham and part of the squad’s challenge to be competitive in the higher division.
“Another thing that attracted me to Oldham was the prospect of playing in the same team again as so many of the lads I was with at Salford when we were all young and finding our feet in the game.
“Lewis Palfrey is one of my best friends and I was in the under-18s at Salford with him, Adam Clay, Richard Lepori, Gareth Owen and Adam Files.”
Spencer becomes Oldham’s fourth new signing for 2016 after Barrow forward Craig Briscoe, York winger Jamel Chisholm and Hunslet half-back Danny Grimshaw.