THE Old Brodleians Rugby Union Club has parted company with their head coach Ian Armitage and his assistant Clive Harris.
The club’s highly qualified U-19 Colts coach John Cole has taken on the role for the first season back in Yorkshire One come September.
The Brods chairman Richard `Bruce’ Turner informed Echo Sport he had thought the coaching set up need refreshing following the relegation and that perhaps it was time for a change.
Armitage, 46, who since taking over from Jamie Bloem has seen two promotions and a relegation in his five years at the helm at Woodhead, said he understood John Cole had approached the chairman and he had gone with the idea.
“Clive and I would have liked another season as we wanted the opportunity to put a few things right from the disappointing end to last season. We had identified our weaknesses and I put my suggestions to the club. We had been working hard, planning and talking to players for the forthcoming season.
“However John threw his cap into the ring and that has led to my retirement. I do believe there is a time span for senior coaches and as I have said we just wanted another season to turn things around but obviously Bruce thought it was time for a change and our life span had come to an end.
“It is now time for me to take stock and maybe take a year out, although I will still be watching my son Joseph play at the Brods. I have not had any talks with any other clubs and I may well offer my help to the junior set up at the club and spend my Sunday mornings up there.
“Although things are quite raw at the moment the club will always have 100 per cent support from me and what else would you expect after 16 years of coaching up there.
“I would after seeing where we failed last season through lack of experience gone for a player-coach but in John Cole the club is getting an outstanding coach who is higher qualified than I and he will bring a lot to the table and I wish him well.
“The side wasn’t relegated last season through lack of effort, the players selected always gave their all but we lacked some good forwards and some experience to bring on the young and talented players the club does have.”
Armitage has taken to the club’s official website this week since the news leaked out and further added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who have supported me over the last 16 years coaching at the Brods.
“All through the juniors and the last five years with the seniors, there have been a few people who have helped me along the way, too many to name here, but you know who you are and I thank you very much for all your commitment.
“I would like to say a big thank you to all the players who I have had the pleasure of coaching, not always getting it right I know, but generally, I have felt, I have had the backing from most of you. I am very proud to see so many of you grow up from under sevens to become outstanding senior players, some still at the Brods and some who have gone on to play at a higher level, even professional and international level.
Turn to page 53
Turner speaks - page 52