Wakefield Trinity part company with head coach Chris Chester
Wakefield Trinity have parted company with head coach Chris Chester following Sunday's Super League defeat to Huddersfield Giants.
Chester has been in charge at Belle Vue since March 2016 and led Trinity to their best-ever Super League finishes in 2017 and 2018, when they finished fifth two years in a row.
However, in 2019 they avoided relegation on the final day and in the last two seasons have been battling at the wrong end of the Super League table.
With just four wins this season, CEO Michael Carter admitted it was the right time for a change with Willie Poching taking on the role of interim head coach with immediate effect.
"It’s always a sad and difficult decision when change is needed, but the board felt that the time was right for change," said Carter.
"For many reasons, we are stuck in a rut, and have an incredibly important period coming up, where the future of Super League will be defined.
"Chris came in at a low point for the club, and for me personally, and completely changed things around. Under his leadership we played some of the best rugby this club has seen in Super League in 2018 and 2019.
“Sadly, the last two years have been difficult for many reasons with injuries and Covid decimating us at times.
"There have been numerous occasions where we could have sought a postponement but played on with weakened teams, and ultimately that has reflected on Chris.
"He has also never been given the opportunity to spend the full salary cap. To truly compete these days, clubs need either a wealthy benefactor or large crowds and substantial off-field income, none of which Chris has ever enjoyed here. At times, it must have felt like coaching with both hands tied behind his back.
“He will be remembered as a success at this club, and one who always had its best interests at heart. I wish him every success for the future.”
Trinity chairman, John Minards, added: “On behalf of the whole board I would like to thank Chris for all his great work at out club.
"He has brought great commitment, dedication and skill to the difficult role of Wakefield Trinity head coach.
"For me personally however it is the outstanding honesty and integrity that has marked Chris out during our time working together. We wish him every success in the future. He will always be welcome here at Belle Vue”.