Rochdale Hornets


3rd May 2019, 12:02


ROCHDALE Hornets is delighted to announce the appointment of Matt Calland as head coach on a one-and-a-half year deal until the end of the 2020 season.

Calland - who scored 60 tries in 120 appearances over three spells as a Hornets player - is a Championship Grand Final-winning coach, having steered Halifax to their 2010 golden point Grand Final win over Featherstone.

Recently he has led Rochdale Mayfield into the NCL Premier Division and made Hopwood Hall one of the most successful college teams in the country.

Calland’s association with Hornets started when he joined from amateurs Oldham St Annes in 1990, making his first team debut the following year at Hull KR in the top flight and earning the heritage number 1046.

In 1991 he played in the Rochdale team that faced St Helens in the Lancashire Cup final at Wilderspool, Warrington, with Saints finishing 24-14 winners.

Calland was signed by Featherstone in 1993 and went on to win a Super League title with Bradford Bulls, as well as playing in the Challenge Cup final twice at Wembley. Calland also represented England once in 1996.

He returned to Hornets in 2001, playing a key role in the team that finished third in the second tier, and after a brief, injury-hit spell at Huddersfield Giants in 2003, he had a third spell at Spotland later that year. His professional playing career finished at Hull KR, though he went on to play for Rochdale Mayfield while coaching for several years.

Matt has appointed ex-Halifax second rower Dave Larder as his assitant as strength and conditioning coach Miles Greenwood remains in post.

On his appointment, Calland said: “I am delighted to be back on board and take on a new challenge.

“There is a lot of hard work to be done and I can’t wait to get stuck into it. Rochdale Hornets was my first professional club and it is a job I have always wanted. 

“Hopefully everyone involved with the club can get behind the team as we look to win some matches.”

 Rochdale Hornets chief executive Steve Kerr said: “We are delighted to announce Matt Calland as the club’s new head coach. He brings with him a wealth of experience, a winning attitude and a no nonsense approach.

 “He is a missing piece of the puzzle that we have been trying to put together for a number of years. He is a local coach, whose experience of the game in Rochdale is second to none. He has an unrivalled knowledge of player development through his work managing the Hopwood Hall rugby league academy and I am thoroughly excited to be working with him.

“This is an exciting appointment for the club and I would encourage people in the borough to get behind Matt, his team and their club as we will fight tooth and nail to secure our Championship status.” 

Matt will take charge of Hornets for the first time against Featherstone Rovers on Sunday and supporters can enjoy two games of rugby league for just £10 if they enter the stadium before 12.15pm with Hornets Women also taking on Barrow Women.