Rochdale Hornets


15th August 2018, 09:30


Alan Kilshaw will leave the club at the end of the Championship Shield

ROCHDALE Hornets and Alan Kilshaw will part company at the end of the 2018 Championship season. 

The head coach, who joined Hornets from Sarina Crocodiles ahead of the 2016 season, will remain in charge for the rest of the Championship Shield campaign, although the club’s relegation to League 1 is all but confirmed.

Kilshaw, who won promotion from League One in his maiden season and became the first Hornets coach to win a division in a century will depart with both parties mutually agreeing to part ways.

Killer said: “First and foremost I want to thank the club for giving me an opportunity to coach Rochdale Hornets back in 2016. Ryan Bradley and Mark Wynn put a lot of faith in me at the time and I would like to think the success we have had repaid that faith.

“I count myself incredibly lucky to have coached such a historic and traditional rugby league club and thank each and every player and member of support staff who I have worked with during my time here.

“I believe I have taken the club as far as I possibly can under the increased restrictions 

“This year we have faced a unique set of circumstances out of the control of the playing and coaching staff which has impacted and halted the progression we had made in 2016 and 2017.

“I believe the club can become a strong force again but need to take a step back and rebuild. At this stage of my career I feel a different challenge is more appropriate for myself and wish the club nothing but success in the future.

“I am totally committed to the club until the end of my contract and will be working tirelessly to end the season with as many points as possible. There are still 12 points to play for and each and every week that will be our main focus.

“Finally I would like to thank the supporters and members of this club who have stood by me and the players and have backed us week after week during my tenure. Keep turning up and backing whoever comes in next because a club is only as good as its members.”

Hornets CEO, Steve Kerr, who will oversee a change in leadership at the club paid tribute to Killer saying: “I can’t thank Alan enough for his efforts, work ethic and professionalism this season. I’m sure people will congratulate Alan in what has been a fantastic tenure at Rochdale Hornets, one in which I know he and the club will look back on with immense pride.

“In what’s been a difficult 2018 campaign Alan has never doubted his players and staff, and although results have been hard to come by there was no lack of effort. Alan is an ambitious and successful coach and he’ll be missed. However disappointing this decision is for everyone involved with Hornets it is necessary we balance the books and rebuild.”

Kerr admitted that a change in structure will be a financial decision as in 2019 the club will lose over £100,000 in central distribution and its community foundation has already seen £15,000 withdrawn from the Sky Try programme, despite overachieving on its targets.

Kerr went on to explain: “The situation is the same for a lot of rugby league clubs at this time of year, whether they missed out on a play-off spot or face the prospect of being relegated. With at least a 30% reduction in revenue and no parachute payments to fall back on we must take action now. With expected increase costs in travel and expected lower gates in League 1 we will need to think differently to raise addition income and build for the future. However difficult this is to swallow, it is happening and club are taking a pragmatic approach to dealing with the loss of revenue.

“Working with the new board of directors, it is now our responsibility to keep this club operating and we want to be going into the 2019 season in the best possible position.

“The club will now turn its attention to finding a replacement for Alan. We will need to identify suitable candidates ready for next season, but more details will follow at an appropriate time. Right now we have a game to prepare for against Featherstone and we’re 100% focused on finishing the season strong”.

Interim Chairman, Peter Rush added: “The measure of the man is such that he wants to see out the season with the club and his players. I think that speaks volumes about Alan and we will continue to give him the support he deserves in the remaining six games.

“Whatever the next steps for Alan we wish him the very best in his coaching career. Every fan and member now has a fantastic opportunity to get behind the team, thank and wish Alan well”.