Scott Naylor has spoken highly of Sam Gee after appointing him as Oldham’s vice-captain.
Birthday-boy Gee, who will be 26 on Thursday, accepted this early gift from the boss as Roughyeds geared up for their first game of the season at Wrexham on Sunday.
He will be club captain Lewis Palfrey‘s second in command and will take over as leader whenever Palfrey is not on the field.
Explaining the rationale behind the appointment, Naylor said the hooker ticked all the boxes and had been a strong candidate for the captaincy.
“He ran Lewis (Palfrey) close – very close,” added Naylor.
“He never gives less than 100 per cent; he is well liked by the other players; and he had a good upbringing in the sport when he was a youngster at Wigan.
“We are fortunate to have him here. He has the ability and the potential to be in Super League.
“Hopefully, we will see the best of him this season. I would love to see him fulfil his potential, but to do that he needs to realise himself how good he could be.
“Like Lewis, he will set a good example, of that I’m certain.”
The eldest and most experienced of three hookers at Whitebank, Gee is the grandson of the late Ken Gee, a prop who starred for Wigan and Great Britain just after the war and was generally recognised as one of the sport’s best front-row forwards of all time.
Before moving to Oldham, Gee had two years at Warrington, three at Wigan, two at London Skolars and one at Whitehaven.
When he signed a one-year deal with Roughyeds last autumn, club chairman Chris Hamilton said: “We targeted him because we think his best is ahead of him.
“In fact, we expect him to have a strong influence on the team.”