Martyn Ridyard named Oldham captain in career first

Josh McAllister
Martyn Ridyard

Martyn Ridyard in action for Leigh

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

It is the first time the experienced half-back has been appointed captain at a club.

The former Leigh pivot made the switch from Swinton during the off-season, reuniting with head coach Stuart Littler for the League 1 campaign.

The prolific goal-kicker has signed a one-year deal with the club. He has scored more than 2000 points in two spells with the Centurions and was Championship Player of the Year in 2014.

He played for Leigh in Super League and also with Huddersfield, before moving on to Featherstone and then Swinton, where he spent last season.

Head coach Stuart Littler names Martyn Ridyard as new club captain

On the latest appointment, head coach 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.

“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 and is proud to be an Oldham player. He is all for the squad and the club, ahead of everything else.”

“I’m excited by it.”

On the news, 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 Stuart 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 Stuart 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 Stuart and Brendan have gone about things.”

Luke Nelmes named vice-captain for 2022

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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