LEE Spencer, a member of the Salford City Reds coaching staff for nine years, has joined Oldham RL as new head coach Scott Naylor’s No 2.
Like Naylor, with whom he worked at The Willows, 50-year-old Spencer will be on a two-year contract.
He will be unveiled by the Roughyeds at a media conference at Whitebank later today.
Spencer, or Spanner as he is well known in the sport, has been coaching for 20 years and is highly qualified to level 3, a requirement for the coaching of senior professionals.
Naylor is delighted to be linking up again with the man who was by his side when they were in charge of Salford’s second team.
Said Oldham’s new head coach: “I jumped at the chance to approach Spanner as soon as I knew he was available. I didn’t want anyone else to beat me to him. He’s quality, as a coach and as a person.
“He gives 100 per cent in everything he does. He lives and sleeps the game and he pulled off a fantastic achievement last year when he guided Salford under-20s to second in the league against top-quality opposition from Super League’s leading clubs.
“I’m really looking forward to working with him again as together we face the challenge of leading Oldham to better and brighter things.”
A Folly Lane player until he was 41, Spencer has been heavily involved in RFL coaching schemes for the past two decades, working at all levels from under-13s to open-age, before joining Salford and becoming a leading figure in the establishment of the City Reds’ scholarship schemes.
He worked alongside Naylor for a few years, both as members of a coaching team headed at different times by Sean MacRae, Karl Harrison, Matt Parrish and the current man in charge, Phil Veivers.
Spencer was Alan Hunte’s assistant at scholarship and academy level and then moved up to become Naylor’s right-hand man with the under-20s.
When Naylor was promoted to first-team duties, Spencer took over as head coach of the under-20s, or reserves, and held that job for three seasons, building a reputation as one of the sport’s finest at that level.
Earlier in his career, he was in charge of Lancashire squads in four age groups, from under-13s to under-16s, and later became head coach of Yorkshire under-16s.
He has worked also in Service Area rugby, on the RFL’s national camps and in women’s rugby league.
“I’ve pretty much done the lot up to Super League reserve team head coach,” said Spencer, “so it was a natural progression for me to step up to assistant coach, and who better to work with in that capacity than Scott Naylor.
“We go back a long way. We speak every day and we’ve already started to build a good. young squad at Oldham. I’m a huge believer in youth, but we need some experience as well and Scott will see that we have it.
“I would be tempted to go almost exclusively for youth, but Scott and Chris (club chairman Hamilton) both insist that we have to balance youth with experience and they are right, of course.
“Scott is big on tactics, I’m more of a technical coach. We complement each other.
“I like to think I have a bold approach to my coaching. Give players a challenge and they will rise to it. They may have to suffer a culture shock first though.”