Wakefield Trinity’s Danny Kirmond considers his future options

WITH MORE than 200 top-flight games to his name, Wakefield Trinity’s Danny Kirmond is one of the most familiar faces in Super League, but at 34, he admits the time for a change is fast approaching.

By Peter Smith
Sunday, 21st June 2020, 5:50 pm
THINKING AHEAD: Wakefield Trinity's Danny Kirmond. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
THINKING AHEAD: Wakefield Trinity's Danny Kirmond. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Kirmond, who became a father on Christmas Day when baby daughter Nelly was born, signed a new one-year contract last autumn to combine playing with a role helping coach Trinity’s reserves.

His only appearance so far this season was in Wakefield’s Super League round one defeat at Hull KR and the second team competition has been abandoned for the year – and possibly longer – due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While the sport’s long layoff, which began on March 15, has added some time on to his playing career, Kirmond revealed he has “nothing in place for next year” and is considering a switch to a part-time environment.

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DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Wakefield Trinty's Danny Kirmond Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“I have spoken to a couple of teams about different roles,” confirmed the 34-year-old former Featherstone Rovers and Huddersfield Giants man, who is also Trinity’s player performance manager (PPM).

“I would like to stay on and do the PPM because Mark (Applegarth, Trinity’s head of youth) has invested a lot of time in me doing that, but I am not sure what the club will do about that next year because there are other people doing it alongside me.

“I have not really spoken to Wakefield too much about anything at the minute. Obviously Michael (Carter, Wakefield’s chief executive) is really busy and I have not been too stressed about it.”

A winger at the time he made his debut for Featherstone 15 years ago, Kirmond was at his peak in 2013 when he secured a place in the Super League Dream Team’s second-row.

PLANNING AHEAD: Wakefield Trinity's Danny Kirmond

He added: “I have been approached by a few teams who are interested in me doing a few things, but I am not too sure what I want to do.

“Obviously my life has changed a lot over the last six months, having a family. Your time is really important to you once you have kids.

“I have got a few options, but I am keeping it cool at the minute.”

This was expected to be Kirmond’s final year as a player, but the long layoff during the Covid-19 crisis has prompted a change of heart.

“If you had asked me before this pandemic I would have said I definitely won’t (play on),” he admitted.

“But as this has gone on, I do want to play on again next year.

“Whether that is full-time or part-time, I would probably prefer part-time.

“Coming to the back-end of my career, I would probably like to start something new as well and get the hang of that.”

Over the past 18 months Kirmond has gained work experience as an estate agent during his days off and that is a possible career option.

“I really enjoyed that, getting used to working again and doing things different to rugby league,” he said.

“A lot of people have asked me if I want to stay in rugby league. If you look at it with your rugby league glasses on, it is the perfect job, but I think once you have been a player, to me that is the best job you can have in rugby league.

“For me, I think anything else would make me miss playing more than if I was doing a normal job and a new challenge.”

Though coaching is a possible career path, it is unlikely Kirmond’s current role with Wakefield’s second string will exist next year.

“I was really enjoying being assistant-coach to the reserves, they are a good set of lads and we have a good team on the youth side of things,” said Kirmond of his involvement so far.

But second-team rugby, revived in 2020 after a long campaign, is unlikely to take place next year as clubs look for ways to cut costs. While he accepts tough decisions have to be made, Kirmond will be sorry if the reserves are axed again.

“It’s frustrating, but I think if you look at things in a business sense, after this pandemic it is going to be a case of survival first,” stressed the Wakefield club captain.

“Although it would be great to see a full reserve team competition, it is looking like that is going to be the thing that gets cut first. It is probably not the most important thing for some clubs, but that’s not the case for us at Wakefield. Mark Applegarth and Michael Carter have invested a lot into the youth side of things so it will be disappointing to see it go.

“I have seen how hard those boys worked in the off-season and the first couple of games they had and it will be really disappointing for some of them if it does go.”

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