SADDLEWORTH Rangers have appointed Australian Ken Kerr as their new rugby coach.
And the 50-year-old, currently in charge of Wakefield Trinity’s Super League ladies’ team, admitted it already feels like home at Shaw Hall Bank Road, Greenfield.
Kerr, who previously a short spell at Oldham St Annes, said: “I played with and against the likes of Shane Tupaea, Terry Flanagan and Mick Coates.
“I am also good mates with previous coach Wes Rogers who stepped down because of other commitments and coached his brother Darrel.
“I will sit down and have a talk with Wes to find more about the group of players we have.”
Kerr admitted to knowing little about the team and was due to meet the players for the first time this week.
Rangers will kick-off their 2020 campaign in division two of the National Conference League after being relegated at the end of last season.
Kerr added: “I have heard the club has a decent junior section and a lot of good players coming through from the Under-16s and U18s.
“For the last three or four years in Australia I have coached U18s and enjoyed working with them as they listen.”
Kerr, who originates from New South Wales, came to England as a 20-year-old for a four-month holiday and ended up staying when he was offered a two-year contract by Workington Town.
He has also played for Huddersfield, Halifax, Widnes, Leigh and one game for Oldham at the age of 37.
Kerr added he came to Oldham through Ray Ashton who came his coach at Workington.
“I was a 20-year-old kid and Ray, who is from Oldham, told me to come and have a look,” he said.
Kerr is married to Oldhamer Nicola and said that is why he keeps gravitating to the town.
Before accepting the Rangers and Wakefield posts, Kerr coached Hemel Hempstead Stags Community head coach.
Rangers’ chairman Shane Wilson is delighted by the capture of Kerr who has a wealth of playing and coaching experience in both hemispheres.
Mr Wilson said: “We are over the moon and hope to have a continuation of where Wes left off.
“Wes left us in a fantastic position club and player wise and Ken has the same principles and expectations. He is somebody with a lot of experience.”
Rangers will end their one-year absence from the Coral Challenge Cup after accepting an invitation to play in next year’s competition.
They will find out who they face when the draw is made on Thursday, December 5 at South Yorkshire amateur side Bentley.
Saddleworth is one of 44 sides entering the competition at the first round stage, with ties to be played on the weekend of January 11 and 12.
And they could be paired with sides in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, London, Jarrow in the north east or even the Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force.
The team returns to pre-season training on Tuesday, December 3.
They will be in competitive action in January when the revamped Standard Cup kicks off.
Rangers have been grouped with Oldham St Annes, Waterhead Warriors and Rochdale Mayfield but dates for the games have yet to be confirmed.