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Relegated Whitehaven sack coach Stokes

Relegated Whitehaven have sacked coach Ged Stokes with just one game left this season.

Stokes photo
Ged Stokes

The Kiwi was told of the decision on Tuesday night and his assistant David Seeds will take charge for Sunday’s visit of Batley Bulldogs.

Chairman Dick Raaz said today: “The board felt that this was the most appropriate decision given the comprehensive restructuring the club will have to make to accommodate playing and financial demands in the Champions 1 League.

“Major restructuring will have to occur and the playing and coaching staffs will have to be modified accordingly.

“While the board believes that Ged has given full commitment to the club and the team during his tenure (including taking the club to the play-offs in two successive seasons), our circumstances are different now and a time for re-building has come.”

Stokes enjoyed success in his first two seasons at the club before disaster struck this term with the club relegated to Championship One.

A club statement continued: “The board wish Ged well in his future endeavours and hope that he remembers the positive aspects of his time with Whitehaven.

“The board feel that the future of Whitehaven Rugby League Football Club and its success in Championship 1 will need the efforts of everyone involved with the club. The club is struggling for support in terms of spectator attendance and financial contributions to ensure that the club can survive. We need to stop the rumours and unfocused criticisms and get behind WRLFC.

“Whilst financial problems threaten the survival of the club, the board is making every effort to keep things afloat. However, the board cannot do this without the full support of all Haven fans, past and present and the community as a whole.”

Haven had been deep in trouble, suffering three opening league defeats before he took charge in April 2008, but he quickly transformed their fortunes.

They beat top side Celtic Crusaders in his first match in charge and went on to enjoy success after drafting in a new half-back pairing of veteran Tane Manihera and teenager Gregg McNally, who was promoted from the junior ranks.

Haven went on to achieve a play-off place, earning dramatic wins at Leigh and Halifax and moving within 80 minutes of a Grand Final before losing to champs Salford. He carried on in similar vein last term, with Haven lying second in the table with just two league matches to play. They went on to lose their tense play-off opener 26-21 at Widnes.

Hopes were high of another decent showing this term, but a host of the club’s top performers, including McNally, prop Karl Edmondson and utility ace Jamie Theoharous had left the club.

They lost three of their opening four games this season, including a shock 22-14 defeat at Workington Town.

And later a record 13-match losing run condemned the club to the drop. They ended the sequence with an encouraging victory at Keighley on Sunday.

Have your say

Its a shame to see Whitehaven relegated, but you fans need to support the club and re-set your aspirations for what is now a good local club for good local players. The club will need your support if it is to survive.

Mr Raz may not be the perfect answer, but anyone who puts personal money up to keep a club alive deserves some respect, give the club the opportunity to build again and suport the local players in becoming as successful as they can be capable of

Posted by Mark Savage on 20 August 2010 at 15:34

Realist....I'll take you down to China town my friend. Bring back Stick McNally, Peter Smith as Coach and Bif Dave Ford to power the forwards on

Come on Kells

Posted by Gerbil on 20 August 2010 at 12:18

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Is The Autumn Statement good news for Cumbria?

Yes - the enterprise zone jobs and airport flights are a fantastic boost

It's more positive than expected but could have been better

I agree with Jamie Reed, it is all smoke and mirrors

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