New 3-year deal for “Spanner”

Date published: Tuesday, January 6, 2015
OLDHAM RL Club have secured the long-term future of their senior coaching team by re-signing highly-rated assistant boss Lee Spencer on a new three-year contract.
He will continue to work alongside head coach Scott Naylor, his immediate  boss at Whitebank for the past two years, until the end of the 2017 season, at least. 
Naylor signed a new three-year deal several weeks ago and then made it clear he wanted ‘Spanner’ to remain by his side.
“We don’t always see eye to eye,” said Naylor, of the man whom he cherry-picked for his No 2 when he landed his first head coach’s job at Oldham ahead of the 2013 season in Kingstone Press Championship One.
“We often agree to disagree because we both have very strong opinions. That’s healthy. It makes for good debate and good decision-making.
“Anything we have achieved for the club so far has been achieved together. It was important he stayed with me. Any head coach is only as good as his No 2 and his other staff and in ‘Spanner’ I have a right-hand man who brings a lot to the club and the squad.
“He’s good at his job; he’s a huge help to me; and he has the total respect and backing of the players.
“He and I have a lot of work ahead of us, but we’ve got three years in which to make some real progress and to have that amount of stability has got to be beneficial to the club,”
Chairman Chris Hamilton echoed that view and added: “A three-year deal for ‘Spanner’ sees him on the same time-scale as Scott and that’s how it should be.
“He was very patient in waiting for us to sort things out, but he’s very loyal to Scott and his importance to him can’t be over-estimated.”
Spencer, who previously worked with Naylor on the Salford coaching staff, said he had no desire to break up their double-act.
He added: “Scott wanted me to stay and that meant a lot to me.
“There are some very positive things going on at the club, like the new links with Huddersfield Giants, and we are delighted at the way in which new boys Jarrod Ward, Adam Neal and Jack Holmes, a tremendous athlete, are settling in.
“It’s also going to make a big difference to have George Tyson and Gareth Owen signed as fully-fledged Oldham players as opposed to having them on loan as we did last year.
“I’ll be working very closely with the club’s new conditioner and I’ll be the link between him and Scott.
“Team and players are the club’s shop window and I’m dedicated to the lads because, as part-time professionals with full-time jobs outside rugby, they have to be totally focused and committed to their rugby and to their club.
“The coming season should be a cracker. We’ve got the return of the derby games and I can’t wait for the clashes with Swinton and Rochdale.”