October 24, 2022

Ford appointed Assistant Coach as full backroom team announced

Wakefield Trinity can today announce the appointment of James Ford as Assistant Coach, whilst also confirming Mark Applegarth’s full backroom team for the 2023 season.

Ford joins Trinity from York City Knights where he has been Head Coach since 2015. In 2018, Ford guided York to the League 1 title and successfully finished third during their first season back in the Championship. This year, he steered them to the play-off semi-finals, securing their first-ever play-off win at Championship level.

Trinity Head Coach, Mark Applegarth, has known Ford for a number of years and is looking forward to working with him this coming season.

“Myself and James Ford grew up coaching together at Wakefield College and he’s gone on to do a brilliant job at York,” said Applegarth.

“He compliments me really well in terms of our strengths and I think he’ll be a great addition to the group. He’s a real technical coach, good at detailing, speaks well in front of the group and is a real thinker of the game.

“I’m really delighted to have him on board and think he will be a quality addition.”

Ford has expressed his excitement at the opportunity to work for Wakefield Trinity and Applegarth once again.

“Mark is someone I know really well and I’m excited to work with him again,” said Ford.

“I was always impressed with his work ethic alongside numerous other qualities and characteristics, so when he offered me the opportunity to come to Wakefield, I was extremely keen to get on board.

“Mark has spoken about the challenges we’ll face and I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone at the club and working together on these challenges.

“I’m a West Yorkshire lad and I understand how people in and around Wakefield feel about their rugby. I’m honoured and privileged to work for you all.”

The Club are also delighted to announce the appointment of Andreas Liefeith as Head of Performance. Andreas has been involved at the club for a number of years, overseeing the athletic development of the Academy and Scholarship players. He has now taken a full-time role at Trinity having been a senior lecturer in Biomechanics at York St John University.

Completing the performance team is Joel Fulford, who returns to the club as first-team strength and conditioning coach, and Matt Cook, who specialises in speedwork.

Speaking on his new role as Head of Performance, Liefeith said: “In my new role as Head of Performance, I’m looking forward to continuing my journey at Wakefield Trinity.

“Having worked at the club for several years, I’m pleased to add my experience to a committed and progressive group of staff, who are undoubtedly here to support the players and help them to maximise their potential.

“Myself, Joel and Matt are all really looking forward to being part of this journey.”

David Cooper will continue as Head Physiotherapist in 2023, with physio Ryan Carmody and sports therapist Leanne McPherson working alongside Cooper.

“We are looking forward to getting started with pre-season, with the injured players working through their time off to make sure they are ready for November,” said Cooper.

“Myself and the medical department are looking forward to getting to know the new staff and players, at what is a very exciting time for the club with the addition of the modern pitch and seeing many years of hard work behind the scenes by the board come to fruition with the stadium redevelopment.”

Stuart Dickens continues as Welfare Manager at Trinity and enters his eleventh season working with the club.

Mark Houlton will remain in his position as Performance Analyst. Mark works tirelessly behind the scenes, providing numerous aspects of information for the coaching staff.

Completing the staff for 2023 is Matty Nicholson who becomes the new Head of Youth, taking over from Applegarth. Matty joined the club from Keighley Cougars and is keen to get started.

“I’d like to thank Mark and Michael for the opportunity to lead and continue to develop Wakefield Trinity’s youth setup,” said Nicholson.

“Over the past few years under Mark, the Academy system has really proven to be worth its weight in gold in terms of producing talented local players who then go on to feature in Super League.

“Ultimately, my goal is to maintain and further develop this process to ensure that we at Wakefield Trinity continue to provide opportunities for young talent to flourish and represent the city of Wakefield in Super League and hopefully earn further honours within Rugby League.

“I’m really looking forward to linking up and working with Academy Head Coach Jay Pitts and Scholarship Head Coach Jamie Field as well as the rest of the coaching and backroom staff at Wakefield to provide the best possible environment for our young players to learn and develop as both Rugby League players and people.”

You can watch our full chat with Mark Applegarth as he discusses all of our backroom staff, for FREE on Trinity TV!