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Batley Bulldogs boss Craig Lingard on links to Wakefield Trinity hotseat and Mark Applegarth appointment

Wakefield Trinity are set to take a new direction in 2023.

The West Yorkshire side made the bold move of parting company with boss Willie Poching and his assistant Francis Cummins despite a strong end to the season as they fended off relegation climbing the table to 10th.

Instead they’ve turned to Mark Applegarth. Applegarth was already at the club and has played his part in developing many youngsters at Trinity such as Lewis Murphy. He is set to be the youngest coach in the league and has huge potential.

He is certainly being backed by someone who knows him very well in the shape of Batley boss Craig Lingard who was assistant coach at the Bulldogs when Applegarth was playing.

He said on BBC Radio Leeds: “I was assistant when Mark was playing here. It’s difficult for me to comment on him as a coach but as an individual and as a player he’s very diligent, very hardworking and honest in every thing he does. If he’s got the same sort of philosophies he’ll go far.

“It’s a sensible appointment I guess somebody who knows the club and I don’t know what the finances are at the club but they won’t have the finances like a Wigan, Saints or Leeds so they might have to work with what they’ve got and lean on their young players and he’s got that experience.

“Is it a shock to some people, I guess so. he’s not been plucked over from Australia and I think Wakefield should be applauded for giving him the opportunity.”

Many had tipped Lingard to take over at Belle Vue, but Lingard revealed that no one had gotten in touch with him over the previously vacant role: “No, I got told by three or four different people that I’d got the job and I thought someone needs to talk to me if that’s the case because I’ve not applied for it and no one has spoken to me.

“I’m not going to apply for a job, people can come and find me, they know where I am. I’ve got more important things to worry about.”

He certainly does with the Bulldogs now set for a semi-final against Featherstone knowing that a win would leave Batley 80 minutes away from Super League.

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