Palfrey’s ‘Next Job’

Date published: Thursday, October 17, 2013

CLUB captain Lewis Palfrey will be back at Oldham RL Club next season, having signed a new one-year deal in talks with club chairman Chris Hamilton and coaches Scott Naylor and Lee Spencer.

Two clubs in the higher Championship division were also looking at the 23-year-old former Whitehaven and Batley Bulldogs half-back, but he said he never seriously considered a move despite the bitter disappointment of captaining a side which fell at the last hurdle in the promotion race.

He added: “We have a saying in the dressing room which comes into play when it’s time to put things behind us and move on . . . ‘next job’.

“When Scott or ‘Spanner’ (Spencer) call ‘next job’ it’s their way of telling us to look ahead to the next challenge and to stop concerning ourselves with the past and things we can no longer change.

“That was in the back of my mind when I sat down with them and with Chris (Hamilton). I listened to what they had to say about their plans for the club and that confirmed what I really knew all along — that it was the right decision to stay.

“Most of the lads are re-signing and we are adding a bit more quality which will provide competition right across the board.

“By the time the squad is complete I expect us to be stronger than last year.”

Three new players have already arrived — half-back Brett Robinson, prop Paddy Mooney and hooker or half-back Danny Whitmore — and Palfrey believes all three will make an impact.

He and Robinson, who was at Oxford last season, have much in common. Both are 23, both will be expected to adopt similar roles within the structure of the team and both played in the same Wigan St Pat’s youth side as teenagers.

Said Palfrey: “We know each other well. I’ve played with and against him many times. He’s a very good signing, a quality player, a great lad and one who will readily buy into what we are trying to do.

“Paddy Mooney, from London Broncos, comes with good reports and with high recommendations.

“And while we don’t think of Danny Whitmore as a new boy, he only played one and a bit games for us on loan last season so he will be a big addition to the squad.”

Naylor said of Palfrey, who seems certain to keep the captain’s armband next season: “He and I go back a long time, to when he was a kid at Salford.

“I made him captain because I felt it would do him a world of good, and so it proved. I thought he dealt with the job admirably.

“He led by example and that’s hard to do from stand-off because he must also be tactically aware, able to take control in midfield, kick well and provide the voice on the field.

“He’s a popular captain and he is willing to listen and learn and accept advice, while always striving to improve his game.”

* Tickets (£20) are still available for the club’s end-of-season dinner and awards night at Whitebank on Saturday. Ring Janet on 0161 624 9630, ext 70552.