Players ‘a dream to work with’ – ScottDate published: Monday, September 14, 2015
SCOTT Naylor and his No 2 Lee Spencer tried hard to stay in the background and let their players take centre stage when Oldham received the League Leaders Trophy at Oxford where their 76-12 win sealed a top-place finish in Kingstone Press League One.
It was the first piece of significant silverware to go to Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd and the first for Naylor in his career as a head coach.
He, Spencer and Chris Hamilton, chairman or chief executive for 18 years, know the season will be judged not by finishing top but by the result of next Sunday’s ‘Promotion Final’ with Keighley Cougars at Whitebank.
Even so, Naylor wanted his players to enjoy and cherish their celebrations with supporters after Lewis Palfrey received the trophy from Dr Paul Morgan, RFL president, deputy chairman of Huddersfield Giants and son of the late Lyn Morgan, an Oldham player in the 1960s.
Said the Roughyeds boss: “These lads have put in a phenomenal effort since the second week in November when they started pre-season training. Furthermore, I’ve not had a moment’s stress or trauma with them, either individually or as a group.
“They’re a dream to work with. In all my playing and coaching career I’ve never known as much harmony as there is here. We are all friends. The lads battle for each other as genuine mates and that team spirit has been a massive factor in our performances and our results.
“We’ve won 19 out of 22 and there was only 40 minutes in the whole season when I felt we didn’t have a go. That was in the first half at Keighley when, for whatever reason, we didn’t show up.
“We got it sorted and we’ve now won 13 on the run to finish top, so these lads have plenty to celebrate even through the job isn’t finished.
“They should stand proud because it isn’t every day a team wins a trophy. And to finish top of the league, no matter what level you’re playing at, is a huge achievement which is down entirely to their attitude, ability, professionalism and commitment.
“That applies to every member of the squad, whether they’ve played one game or in all 22.
“When their playing days are but a distant memory, like mine, they can tell their children and grandchildren how they won this league for Oldham. It’s something they should cherish and remember for as long as they live.
“We’ve still to hurdle a massive barrier to achieve our season’s main goal, but for now we’ll enjoy this top-of-the-table feeling with our fans who, I know, will turn up in strength next Sunday and hopefully help us to get over the line.”