Palfrey New CaptainDate published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
He got the nod from coach Scott Naylor and he didn’t need twice asking.
“I was surprised, but absolutely delighted,” said the former Salford, Whitehaven and Batley utility back, who will be 23 next month.
“I’ve skippered teams in the past — Salford Academy and Salford reserves — but this one will carry with it a lot more responsibility
“I’m made up. I can’t wait to lead out the team for the first time.”
One of 11 new signings, Palfrey will head a young squad which includes ten players who are 21 or under and, setting aside former captain Neil Roden (32) and prop Jason Boults (29), has an average age of 22.
After being coached at Salford by both Naylor and his now Oldham No 2, Lee Spencer, Palfrey signed for Whitehaven where, in 2011, he made 23 appearances, mainly at stand-off, amassing 160 points from 68 goals and six tries.
Last season he played 12 times for Championship club Batley Bulldogs, mainly off the bench, but starting at stand-off in a 34-22 Northern Rail Cup win at Featherstone and picking up his team’s best-player award, as judged by League Express.
He ended the season back at Whitehaven on loan. The Cumbrians had Jamie Rooney starring at stand-off by then, but Palfrey occupied the full-back shirt in each of the seven games available to him.
Since signing for Oldham last November and teaming up once again with Naylor and Spencer, he has been suitably impressed by the squad’s preparation for the new season.
He added: “Our training facilities are first class and that’s a massive boost because we’ve had no disruptions caused by the weather.
“We are bang on schedule. The boys are itching to start playing now.”
Naylor said he and Spencer had been debating the captaincy for the past few weeks and had been closely watching players in training with that in mind.
Several were considered.
He added: “We were looking for a leader who would handle responsibility both on and off the field. We took into account a lot of factors.
“We had a handful of players in the frame. It wasn’t a decision we took lightly. We discussed it at length and considered all options, but we continually came back to Lewis Palfrey.
“We’ve both known him a long time. He has experienced different environments at different clubs and he gets on well with all the other boys here.
“We hope it will be the start of something big for him.
“Other players ran him close, but you can only have one captain.
“I don’t believe in the modern methods of having three or four captains with shared responsibility. To my mind there’s one captain, one leader.
“We’ll appoint a vice-captain, but we will definitely not go down the road of giving numerous players responsibility for this and responsibility for that.”