Lions seek new head coach after Rooney steps down

Jamie Rooney steered Featherstone Lions to back-to-back NCL promotions in 2014 and 2015. Picture: Matthew Merrick.
Jamie Rooney steered Featherstone Lions to back-to-back NCL promotions in 2014 and 2015. Picture: Matthew Merrick.

National Conference League Division One club Featherstone Lions are seeking a new head coach to replace Jamie Rooney.

Former Featherstone Rovers, Wakefield Trinity, Castleford Tigers and England half-back Rooney has stepped down because of work commitments.

Applicants should contact, in the first instance, Richard Taylor on 07900058485.

Rooney steered Lions to back-to-back NCL promotions in 2014 and 2015 as they soared from Division Three to Division One.

They narrowly missed out on a third successive promotion 12 months ago when they were edged out 25-18 by Skirlaugh Bulls in a thrilling Division One play-off final.

Rooney then resigned as head coach but the 37-year-old returned to take up the reins again after Lions, who were again tipped as strong promotion contenders this year, made a dreadful start to their 2017 campaign.

They were pipped 34-26 by then leaders Underbank Rangers at Millpond Stadium in Rooney’s first game back on April 22 after they had lost their first six games. They eventually ended a run of nine successive league defeats with their first win by beating Hull Dockers 38-22 on June 3 but they remained in relegation danger throughout the season.

With two games remaining, they were still in deep trouble but they escaped the drop in dramatic style.

They produced one of the shocks of the season with a stunning 37-16 victory at promoted Underbank in their penultimate game before beating York Acorn 25-24 at Mill Pond Stadium in their final fixture.

Lions finished in seventh spot, just one place below neighbours Lock Lane.