Martyn Ridyard appointed Oldham RLFC's club captain

Date published: 05 January 2022

Martyn Ridyard has been appointed Oldham RLFC's club captain for the forthcoming 2022 season with Luke Nelmes as vice-captain.

Two more players, still unidentified, are to be named soon to form a four-man Roughyeds' squad leadership group.

Every member of head coach Stu Littler's staff has had an input into the appointments.

Littler said: "Sport, like life, is all about opinions, but across pre-season these two have shown themselves to be leaders and they will head a leadership group of four. Deep discussion about the other two is currently going on and this weekend we'll have a big team-building exercise, which will also be relevant to the formation of the group."

Speaking more specifically about Ridyard, he added: "Martyn and I go back a long way, but I stress he is NOT club captain just because he is a good mate of mine.

"He is captain because he ticks all the boxes. Even we are surprised to find this is his first club captaincy.

"As a natural leader, a clever tactician, hugely experienced, cool under pressure and a good bloke whom the younger lads will go to with questions, his selection as captain was an absolute no-brainer.

"Luke Nelmes, vice-captain, has matured a lot and he is totally selfless in always putting the club first. He trains hard, is proud to be an Oldham player and he is all for the squad and the club, ahead of everything else."

Ridyard said: "I'm at the stage of my career now when I should be leading by example anyway. Nevertheless, it's good to have the job and I'm excited by it. I just hope I can do the job justice.

"I certainly have the right environment thanks to the superb job done by Stu and Brendan during pre-season. We have no cliques, no egos.

"We are a group and we are as one, and that's especially creditable for the job done by Stu and Brendan, given that most of the lads are at the club for the first time.

"When I first turned up for training, I didn't know a single player and I wasn't on my own. It wasn't entirely a bad thing because it put everyone on their toes, but the main thing that has turned us ALL into good mates has been the way Stu and Brendan have gone about things."

In two spells at Leigh, 35-year-old stand-off Ridyard played in 250 games, scoring 80 tries, 838 goals and 12 drop goals for more than 2,000 points.

He won the Tom Bergin Trophy as man of the match in the 2004 Championship Final and later received the Kingston Press player of the year award.

Prop Nelmes, aged 28, said: "I'm delighted and honoured to accept the invitation. I hope I can be a big help to Martyn and set a good example.

"I'm one of the few players who are still here from last year, so that might have had something to do with the decision.

"I will do my utmost to make a success of the job. The very thought of being vice-captain excites me.

"We are all looking forward to our first run-out against Wakefield. It will be a good test no matter what sort of a side they put out, but we are hoping they will field a few Super League lads."

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