Reports: Wakefield Trinity to name new coach following Willie Poching’s exit

Wakefield Trinity are set to name their successor to Willie Poching following his exit from the West Yorkshire club alongside assistant Francis Cummins.

That successor is expected to be Wakefield stalwart Mark Applegarth, according to the Yorkshire Post.

“When we appointed Willie as head coach, the nature of the arrangement was that we would review the position in 12 months,” said chairman John Minards upon the exit of Poching and Cummins.

“Having reached the end of the 2022 playing season and secured our Super League status, the board have carefully considered all aspects of the past 12 months and decided that we need a change in our coaching set up as we move forward.

“These decisions are never easy and this one is particularly difficult given the tremendous effort, passion and energy Willie and Franny have both brought to the club.”

Applegarth has been heralded in circles for the way in which he has developed the club’s youthful players including the likes of Lewis Murphy, Yusuf Aydin and Sam Eseh.

A former Wakefield player, Applegarth starred for the West Yorkshire side between 2004 and 2008, registering 47 Super League appearances.

The Yorkshireman also had spells with York City Knights, Central Queensland Comets in Australia and Batley Bulldogs, but it was at the City Knights where he finished his playing career in 2016.

Since then, Applegarth has had an array of jobs at Belle Vue, including player performance manager, head of youth for four years, and most recently as assistant to Poching at the Super League club.

It is a bold choice by the Trinity hierarchy following an anxious season overall after stemming the possibility of relegation late on in the year.

That has made it difficult for the club to recruit players for 2023 and beyond with Poching previously stating that the time to rebuild was one that had to be done quickly.

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