Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are looking for a new head coach following James Webster’s departure after less than a year in the job.
Former Featherstone Rovers player Stuart Dickens, Wildcats’ under-19s coach, has been placed in temporary charge.
Webster’s exit came with Wildcats seven points adrift at the foot of First Utility Super League and just two days after they were beaten at home by Kingstone Press Championship leaders Leigh Centurions in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Club chairman Michael Carter said in a statement: “It is with a heavy heart that I have today agreed the release of James Webster from his position of head coach.
“James rescued us last season from the threat of relegation and for that I am truly thankful.
“I wish James and his family every success and happiness in the future, and thank him for all his hard work in his four years here.”
He added: “We will now be conducting the search for a new head coach.
Watch a video of James Webster’s last press conference as Wakefield head coach.
“In the interim, Stuart Dickens will take charge of first team affairs, until we can make an appointment.”
In a statement released by the club, Webster said: “I felt now was the right time to allow someone else the opportunity to take the team forward.
“In taking this decision my hope is it will allow the club to fulfil its goal and remain in Super League.
“I would like to thank both Michael and Chris [Brereton, club director] for the opportunity and wish everyone at the Wildcats the best for the future.”
Webster was appointed last June after Richard Agar left the club. He was assistant to Agar at both Hull and Wakefield and also had a spell in charge of Hull KR, where he made his name as a player.
Candidates to replace Webster could include ex-Wakefield coach John Kear, who is now in charge at Batley Bulldogs. Dewsbury Rams’ Glenn Morrison, a former Wakefield captain, will also be linked with the post, along with ex-Wales boss Neil Kelly, who is from Wakefield.