Woolford in Giants’ sights

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Simon Woolford is poised to be appointed head coach of English Super League club Huddersfieldless than a month after the Giants sacked ex-Newcastle Knights coach Rick Stone.

Woolford, the former Canberra Raiders and St George Illawarra hooker who is in his second season as coach of the Knights’ NSW Cup side, is believed to be waiting forthegreen light on his visa application before his appointment is made official.

After being shortlisted for the job along with former Kiwi international David Kidwell, Woolfordwas interviewed viaa telephone hook-up earlier this week.

“I’ve been interviewed so now I just have to wait and see what happens,” Woolford told the Newcastle Heraldon Tuesday.

“It would obviously be a really good step-up for me.

“But you don’t go into coaching without aspirations to be a head coach at some stage and I’m no different from anybody else in that regard.

“I’m passionate about coaching and love it here in Newcastle with the Knights. But this would be a great opportunity if I was to get the nod.”

Woolford’s appointment would continue Huddersfield’s remarkable association with the Knights.

Current Newcastle coach Nathan Brown spent four years as head coach of the Giants from 2009 to 2012 with Stone at the helm in 2016 before he and the club parted ways in late March following a disappointing start to the the 2018 season.

Brown still has strong connections at the club and played a significant part in Woolford’s appointment.

“Browny has coached over there so he put my name forward and gave me a great reference and I guess that’s how it all started,” Woolford said.

Once his visa is finalised, it is expected Woolford will join the Giants immediately.

Ironically, after making the play-offs in 2017, the Knights have madea poor start in NSW Cup this season, winning just one game and having a draw from their opening six matches.

They currently sit on the bottom of the ladder.

While there has been nothing official from the club on who might replace Woolford, there is a possibility junior coaches Scott Dureau and Rory Kostjasyn may be asked to fill the position.

Both are full time with the club and in charge of the SG Ball Under 18’s and Harold Matthews Under 16’s sides respectively.

Both sides have this weekend off after winning their qualifying finals againstPenrith last Saturdayand will play in grandfinal qualifiers on Saturday week.

Depending on their results, they could be available to take over the NSW Cup job within the next few weeks if the club opts to not look elsewhere.

New job: Newcastle Knights’ NSW Cup coach and former Raiders captain Simon Woolford is set to take over from Rick Stone as coach of English Super League club Huddersfield Giants. Picture: Marina Neil

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