New Featherstone Rovers role for Wakefield Trinity assistant-coach and ex-York Knights boss
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“I was attracted to this challenge of working with Featherstone in a new role as everything seems to be progressing very well on and off the field,” he said.
“I understand the ambitions of the board and I want to support Sean Long and the players in adding value to what is already a very strong team [and] driving forward our standards and paying attention to every detail of preparing us for a very bright future.”
A winger or centre, Ford scored six tries in 34 games for Rovers from 2003-2005 and later had spells with Sheffield Eagles, Castleford Tigers, Widnes Vikings and York City Knights, where he began his coaching career.
He became head-coach in 2015 and led York to the League One title three years later, as well as the Championship play-offs 2019 and 2022.
He moved to Trinity, as assistant to Mark Applegarth who he worked with at York, in the off-season, but leaves with Wakefield bottom of Betfred Super League and still searching for a first win this year.
In contrast, Rovers lead the second tier with a 100 per cent winning record after 11 league games.
Rovers chairman Mark Campbell said: “We’re currently in a position where we’re planning extensively for the next phase in this club’s evolution, both on and off the field.
“This role creates greater capacity for the coaching staff to continue to develop an exciting and successful brand of rugby, while also allowing myself and the board more time to plan strategically for the club’s very exciting future.”
He added: “James will lead on recruitment plans and will ensure we maximise the investments we are making in our playing squad and off-field team.
“We need to ensure this season we leave no stone unturned in driving our promotion challenge forward and James will play an integral part in supporting Sean and the rest of the team in delivering this.”