SADDLEWORTH Rangers, bottom of National Conference League, division two, have changed their coach with Craig Farrimond replaced by Wes Rogers.
Rangers have turned to Rogers, who was their joint coach with Keith Brennan in the premier division in 2010, to revive their fortunes after they lost their first five league games.
And in Rogers’ first match back in charge of the senior team for a second spell, Rangers lost narrowly 30-24 at East Leeds.
Rogers, 40, who had been coaching Rangers’ U15s, brings a wealth of experience having made his first-team debut for Widnes aged 16 and later playing for Swinton, Rochdale Hornets and Oldham where he was club captain in his second spell at Watersheddings.
After initially coaching Rangers, Rogers spent more than four years at Swinton Lions as assistant to both Ian Watson and John Duffy.
Rogers will be assisted by Emerson Jackman, another former Rangers’ coach, and ex-player Ian Sinfield, who coaches the U12s, while Danny Attersall and Phil Wood are staying in charge of the second team.
Club chairman Shane Wilson said; “We welcome Wes into the coaching role. He is more than qualified to do the job.
“The lads need to get behind him and show him the level of commitment that’s he’s going to need from them.”
Former player Farrimond had been part of the coaching team for four seasons and been in sole charge for the last two seasons.
Mr Wilson said: “I’d like to pay tribute to what Faz (Farrimond) has contributed to the club since he came here.
“We are grateful for his commitment during his years in the role.
“People don’t realise how big a job it is and the huge commitment it requires.”
Rogers, a director of a Manchester-based property management company, says he has taken over until the end of the season when he will review his position.
He said: “I am looking to rebuild the culture and get the hunger back, though it won’t be an overnight process.
“I would like interaction throughout the club from the U13s upwards and build a relationship so we are all on the same page.”
Rogers is keen to bring in experienced players to help nurture the club’s young players – Farrimond has expressed interest in resuming his playing career.
He said: “I will speak to Craig when the dust has settled. We played together for Oldham and Swinton and he is a good pal – I was even an usher at his wedding.
“If we get older players involved, I am sure they will help the younger ones to manage games, something we needed against East Leeds.”
Farrimond was unhappy how his departure came about, claiming he had been “stabbed in the back by certain members of the committee”.
He said: “For whatever reason we hadn’t started well, though beginning the season with eight away games on the run didn’t help. It is a tough division and playing away every week wasn’t easy.
“The club has decided to move in another tangent and it is time to pull together behind Wes who is a good coach and a really good friend. Hopefully he can get the best out of the lads.”