Fax’s Gilmore: Combination with Murrell will work

Tom Gilmore
Tom Gilmore

Halifax half back Tom Gilmore has no doubt he can form an effective combination with veteran captain Scott Murrell, despite the obvious similarities between the two players.

Gilmore, a close-season signing from Widnes, made a solid debut in last weekend’s 18-10 trial win over Hull FC.

The 25 year old dovetailed smoothly with Murrell and new hooker Keal Carlile, kicking well in open play - including the delicate chip that set up the opening try for James Woodburn-Hall - and looking assured with ball in hand.

And while coach Simon Grix has made no secret of the fact he would ideally have signed another playmaker this winter, perhaps with the running game to complement Gilmore and Murrell’s organisational skills, the player himself is confident in the club’s existing personnel ahead of Sunday’s second warm up fixture at Huddersfield (3.0).

“Me and Scott are very similar players,” said Gilmore.

“But I thought we played well together for a first outing and I don’t see any reason why we can’t continue to do that.

“If you’re good players, and I think we are, I always think you can work something out.

“There’s a lot we can improve on, but it’s a solid base we’ve got to build on.

“The full back’s important too; young Reece Chapman-Smith did well on Sunday, but me and Scott Grix have been bouncing off each other in training so I’m excited to play with him too.

“I’d like to play in all three pre-season games; it’s important to try and get those combinations going on the left, not just the other half but the rest of the ‘spine’ and the centres and back rowers too.

“I started off with Woody on that side on Sunday, then Steve Tyrer flipped in there.

“Both the new back rowers, Matt Garside and Paul Brearley, are really good. They both offer you a lot when you’ve got the ball.

“It’s a good start, but it’s only one pre-season game down; hopefully we’ll be sat here after round one next month having the same conversation, with everyone happy about how it’s gone.”

Sunday marked a sea change in Gilmore’s career, with - a loan spell at London aside - only have played for his hometown club as a professional.

“It was a bit strange being in a changing room with blue and white rather than black and white, but it was nice; change is good sometimes,” said Gilmore, who endured a mixed 2019 in Cheshire.

“It was good to get the first game out of the way and collectively we looked like we’d had a good pre-season, so it was a nice start.

“I’ve got a full pre-season under my belt, which I didn’t get at all last year, and that can only help me.

“I just need to stay fit and show Halifax what I’m about.

“I just want to play the first 15 games and then assess where I’m at.”