Hunslet Hawks: Grand Final hero James Coyle returns to lead Hawks

New coach James Coyle was part of the Hunslet Hawks team that won promotion back in 2014.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
New coach James Coyle was part of the Hunslet Hawks team that won promotion back in 2014. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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FORMER Whitehaven boss James Coyle has been named as new coach of Hunslet RLFC.

Hunslet announced today that Matt Bramald left the club when his contract expired after yesterday’s final game of the season, a 34-18 defeat at Rochdale Hornets in the Kingstone Press League One Super-8s.

Coyle, who was a member of Hunslet’s 2014 League One Grand Final-winning side, will be assisted by the vastly-experienced Steve Deakin.

Coyle has Super League experience as a player with Wigan Warriors and Widnes Vikings and coached Whitehaven for a spell before leaving earlier this year.

Deakin has coached at Whitehaven, Barrow Huddersfield, London Broncos, Oldham, Keighley, Sheffield and Catalan Dragons.

Dave Bell, whose previous clubs include Harlequins Rugby Union and Leigh Centurions, will be consultant conditioner and Bramald’s No 2 Mark Cass is remaining at the club in the same role.

Coyle said: “We are entering an exciting time for Hunslet RLFC. There are a number of changes being made including the performance staff.

“We as a coaching group have been given the task of making the vision of the club a reality.

“We are already working hard to ensure we give ourselves the best possible chance to achieve our internal goals.

“The squad has some real quality and we will be doing our best to retain the majority of the current team.

“I think our main focus will be the culture of Hunslet as a club. Our culture is the foundation on which we can build success.

“It is what defines us as players, coaches and club staff. I want to thank the club for the opportunity; it’s great to be back.”

Deakin added: “Having retired from the sport because of family circumstances almost two years ago, I now have the opportunity to return to the type of work that has brought me so much pleasure and also to assist a coach who I believe to be the brightest prospect within the game currently in the UK.

“It’s exciting to help James to take an already well established club to the next stage of development and be part of the rebrand.”

Hunslet dropped the Hawks suffix from the club name after yesterday’s game.

Chairman Neil Hampshire said: “Our thanks go to Matt for all his hard work over the last 12 months and we wish him every success for the future.

“However, with the club re adopting back to our traditional name and the lion crest we wanted to take the opportunity for a fresh start as the club rebrands and begins the next chapter in its history.

“For us to be able to attract a coaching team of James’s and Steve’s undoubted ability is a real coup. They have bought into the vision and principles of a supporter-owned club and we are convinced they are the right choice to take us forward.”

Meanwhile, Danny Ansell scored two tries but it wasn’t enough to deny hosts Rochdale yesterday.

Jack Lee and Richie Barnett also crossed for the Hawks, and Simon Brown landed a conversion.

Hornets are second in the table, two points behind Toulouse, with Hunslet seventh.