Mark Applegarth’s coaching philosophies, appointment explained & tributes made to ex-Wakefield Trinity boss Willie Poching

Over the last week Wakefield have made a number of bold calls.

They parted company with former coach Willie Poching despite a strong end to the season and appointed now the youngest coach in Super League Mark Applegarth which certainly caught many people by surprise.

A bold decision, Applegarth has now outlined his philosophies as a coach, philosophies which have stood him well in developing young players at the club including the likes of Lewis Murphy who have burst onto the scene in 2022.

His ideas seem to echo plenty of modern coaches and are reflective of the styles we’ve recently see take Leeds and Salford to the semi-finals founded on energy and a willingness to move the ball to sap opponents of energy.

He said: “I like an honest hard-working team and I like to throw the ball about and play rugby.

“In contrast to that, though, I expect a tough resilient defence.”

Applegarth also paid respects to the departed Poching and his assistant Francis Cummins who he learnt a lot from as he outlined an ambition to use his philosophies to put “Wakefield on the map for the right reasons.

“I’d like to pay my respects to Willie and Francis,” Applegarth said, “I did learn a load from them this year.

“I’m delighted to take on the role, it’s an honour and a privilege to be at my home town club but I also want to succeed, I want to do well.

“I want to see Wakefield do well, we’ve had a period of history where we’ve been facing relegation and it’ll be good to get Wakefield on the map for the right reasons.

“It’s time to move on from that and create our own history.”

Meanwhile Wakefield chairman John Minard also paid tribute to Poching and Cummins whilst explaining the process behind Applegarth’s appointment: “It was a bit of a surprise to most people when we announced it on Monday and in a sense I’m quite proud because we did something confidential but we consulted widely.

“Clearly the reasons behind those decisions are complex and varied, and they’re never easy decisions but a number of those things will remain confidential but I did want to pay tribute to Willie and to Franny for all the hard work they’ve put in, the professionalism and enthusiasm over the last year and Willie for longer.

“As a head coach in particular, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Willie Poching. The way he’s conducted himself as head coach and in particular around his departure, no one could have been more professional. Willie will always be a legend at this club. It was not an easy decision.”

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