Hunslet Hawks: Axed Bramald coiled and ready for new challenge

Matt Bramald
Matt Bramald
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FORMER BOSS Matt Bramald says he has left Hunslet RLFC with “head held high”.

Ex-Hunslet player and Whitehaven coach James Coyle took over in the hot seat following last Sunday’s final game of the season, a 34-18 defeat at Rochdale Hornets.

Bramald replaced Barry Eaton as coach in January, just weeks before the start of the season, on a one-year contract.

Hunslet, who were relegated from the Kingstone Press Championship last year, went on to finish seventh in the League One Super-8s, missing out on a place in the semi-finals by three points.

Reflecting on his time in charge, Bramald said: “I leave with head held high.

“I think I have done a good job, everything being taken into consideration.

“I was late into the job and couldn’t strengthen the team because the budget was already spent.

“There’s been various other challenges throughout the year, but I have learned a lot.

“Ultimately the board decided it was not enough.

“They thought we should have been in a better position than we were and ultimately the coach bears that responsibility.”

Bramald, who was applauded from the field by Hunslet’s players following Sunday’s game, revealed he had known for almost a month his contract would not be renewed.

“The day after we beat York at York I was told I would not be kept on,” he said.

“The timing of it was a bit strange because that’s the best we played all season.

“The players have known for about a month as well and I want to say publicly, they have been fantastic.

“The performances have been good. We came within a couple of minutes of beating Toulouse – and what an ending that would have been.

“It could quite easily have fallen apart if the players had not bought into what we were trying to do.

“But they backed me 100 per cent.

“I hope for their sake it all works out and they go on to more success.”

The former coach admitted he had taken the news of his departure hard, but has now regained his enthusiasm and is hoping to continue in rugby league.

“When I was first told it flattened me a bit,” he said. “I have been pretty full on with this, I put everything – every moment and all my energy – into it.

“I have got some ideas what I might do and some calls to make. I am going to see what’s what and if an opportunity comes to get back into the game I will take it. I have got my enthusiasm back.”