BRIGHOUSE Rangers have lost their successful player-coach Alex Muff with just two weeks to the new Pennine Amateur Rugby League season
The former Doncaster, Batley Bulldogs and Barrow professional has opted to return to his former amateur club Halifax Irish to play in the Premier Division, citing lack of commitment from the Brighouse squad.
Muff, 27, the youngest coach in the Pennine League last term, took his side to promotion from Division Two as runners up to Thornhill Trojans and to victory in the J& J Fee Memorial Trophy final at Old Brodleians RUFC against Championship side Keighley.
His very tactically aware assistant Craig Young has also stepped down to take some time out from the game.
“With a new born baby and getting married soon,” Craig has opted to stand aside,” said chairman Dave Barnes. week.
The club is interviewing three prospective candidates this week to take over the side in Division One come the first week of September.
“I can’t really tell you names, because it wouldn’t be fair on the individuals involved or their current clubs as well,” continued Barnes.
“Alex left because he didn’t feel he was getting the commitment from the players in pre-season.
“He had a fantastic time last season and along with Craig Young, who was a big help to Alex and the players, they were expecting a better response from the players this time around.
“Unfortunately this has become the norm at Brighouse. Nobody shows any interest until the season is upon us.
“This season sees us go up a division, and it will be a lot tougher than last, but as a squad and a unit we believe we are good enough to compete at the top and go all out for promotion again.
“The job is hard for two people, but when Craig decided to step down for a while, Alex became a bit disillusioned with the players’ commitment as this was something he had never experienced before.
“All the committee of Brighouse Rangers wish Alex all the best and we thank him for his efforts last season, but it is time to move on.
“We want to get the right person in place in the next week, giving them two weeks to prepare for the forthcoming season.
“The squad should be the same, but all amateur clubs find out, no one is a squad member until they sign on again.
“We need those players to come forward and commit now so we know where we are, or at least let us know if they are moving on.”
Stainland Stags have now stepped in to offer Rangers a game this Saturday (2.30).
“I spoke to Gary Ellis of Stainland, who in turn said they was struggling with their new coach, Danny Fearon, on holiday and were due to face Division Two side Boothtown Terriers this Saturday,” added Barnes. “So, we will make the short trip to Halifax and we just want to get a bit of game time with the season almost upon us.
“We have quite a lot of players away at the moment on holiday, but this game will give the new faces a chance to shine.”