Lewis Palfrey

Date published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012

SCOTT Naylor and his former second-team captain at Salford City Reds have been reunited at Whitebank.

Utility back Lewis Palfrey has had two spells with Whitehaven and one with Batley Bulldogs since leaving the Willows, but he says Whitebank will feel like home-sweet-home when he links up once more with Oldham’s new head coach and his assistant Lee Spencer.
As Academy captain and later reserve-team skipper at Salford, 22-year-old Palfrey played for both Naylor and Spencer during his five years at the club, two of them as a full-time professional.
He comes to Oldham on a one-year deal after abandoning plans to play a season with Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia alongside Salford’s former hooker and club captain, Malcolm Alker.
As a junior he played for Eccles under-15s and Wigan St Pat’s under-16s before joining Salford and ultimately moving on to Whitehaven, then Batley and back to Whitehaven on loan for the last few weeks of last season.
He said: “I spoke to Scott (Naylor) soon after he got the Oldham job. I had agreed to play in Australia, but personal circumstances changed all that and as soon as I knew my Aussie trip was off the first thing I did was to ring Scott again. After that, things moved quickly.
“I relished the prospects of playing again for Scott and Spanner (Spencer), who did a fantastic job with Salford’s under-20s last year.
“I still have a lot to learn and I know I’ll benefit enormously from being coached by those two.”
He plays at full-back or stand-off, but will be regarded mainly by Naylor as another half-back to go in the mix with Neil Roden and Jamie Dallimore.
Said Naylor: “It was always my view that he didn’t get the first-team chances he deserved at Salford. He wanted to prove himself when he left the Willows, but he has not had a lot of luck on his travels.
“I know what he can do. He is 100 per cent for the cause and for his club and all he wants is a chance to play quality rugby with people he can work with.
“He has top-class ability and he will give us lots of options in the backs, but mainly at half-back and full-back.
“On top of everything else, he knows me and he knows what I want.”
Palfrey lives in Salford and is currently working as a telephonist at a call centre, but he will soon be starting a new job working for Spencer in his fireplace-fitting business.
He explained: “I wanted a job that wouldn’t interfere with my Oldham commitments, so I should be okay working for the club’s assistant boss.
“It works both ways though . . . I’ll have no excuse for missing or being late for training !”