New coach appointed to Wakefield Trinity PDRL team

Former Eastmoor Dragons player Lee Whiteley has been appointed coach of Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation’s physical disabilities (PDRL) side.

Lee Whiteley. Picture c/o Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation.
Lee Whiteley. Picture c/o Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation.

Whiteley, who is also on the backroom staff at the Eastmoor community club, has taken over from Danny Thorpe and is targeting silverware and international call-ups for his players this year.

A well-known charity fund-raiser, Whiteley played able-bodied rugby league in the National Conference, despite suffering a brain injury at the age of 12, before switching to PDRL.

“I am thrilled about taking over what I regard as my extended family now at Wakefield PDRL, especially in the year that could - and should - produce some wonderful opportunities for the individuals within our ranks,” he said.

“With the RFL announcing a physical disability tournament to run alongside the World Cup this October, I cannot think of any better motivation for anyone pulling on a PDRL shirt this year.”

Trinity lost to Warrington Wolves in the PDRL Grand Final two years ago and Whiteley’s aim is to go one better when the sport resumes this season following the long coronavirus layoff.

He said: “We just missed out on the PDRL Championship in 2019, so the aim has to be to build on the fantastic foundations that have already been laid to go one step further and win the whole thing.

“We have some fantastic, truly inspirational human beings within our ranks who deserve nothing less than that.

“I just hope we, as a coaching team, can add the icing on the metaphorical cake and make it happen.”

Whiteley will work alongside assistant-coaches Steven Godfrey and Darren Dean, who is Trinity’s PDRL captain.

“Once the opportunity arose, I immediately contacted someone that is an inspiration both on and off the field and I am very pleased to announce Darren Dean has agreed to assist me in a coaching capacity,” Whiteley added.

“Steven is a veteran of the game and has coached at many levels, so will bring a freshness to the camp, something I believe will only benefit the dynamics of the group.”