Blue Square Bet
Published 15th June 2012
With former skipper Phil Bolland having been released at the end of last season, the Bluebirds armband is awaiting a new owner.
And Bayliss has revealed to the North West Evening Mail that the proud recipient for the 2012/13 campaign will be popular left-back Skelton.
The 31-year-old Appleby-based former Scottish Premier League ace joined Barrow last summer.
Skelton made forty-eight appearances in his first season at Furness Building Society Stadium, won three of the six player-of-the-year awards, and last week signed a new one-year deal.
Bayliss said: “Nailed on, Gavin Skelton will be captain next season. We will have a couple of leaders in the side, including Gavin.
“He was fantastic behind the scenes last year and is a great influence on the younger players.
“He is great for me and coach Ashley Hoskin and physio Sean Riley to work alongside because he is very much like us – he is a winner. He puts everything into his job and he will make a perfect captain for us next season.”
Skelton, the brother of Blue Peter presenter Helen, started his career at Carlisle United as a trainee. He moved to Workington in 2000 before joining Gretna.
The left-footer then spent four seasons playing in Scottish football’s top division with Gretna, Kilmarnock and Hamilton Academical before signing for Barrow.
Bayliss said: “Gav did a lot with some of the younger players last season. He would stay behind after training and help Jack Mackreth, and Andy Cook too.
“That sort of thing goes undetected by some, but I noticed it and so did Ash. We hold Gav in the highest regard. You could look at Danny Hurst, even Paul Rutherford, the way he trains he is a good example to others, and James Owen and Mike Pearson too.
“There are probably four or five players you could give the armband to, plus we’ll have another centre half in next season with lots of experience who could do the job.
“But Gav, we know we can trust Gav. He never misses training - he looks after himself and the younger players.
“He has had a great career and played at the top level in Scotland for a number of years. That’s not just down to ability, but the hard work and effort Gav has put in. I have nothing but good things to say about Gav.”