Wakefield Trinity coach Christ Chester is enjoying his coaching once again, after his previous job at Hull KR put pressure on him personally.
Although he enjoyed the professional challenges and excitement of coaching at Rovers, the job took its toll on Chester’s personal life.
Chester was sacked early in the 2016 season and then joined Trinity.
Previously the coach was spending long hours travelling from his home in Wakefield to work in east Hull, and he is pleased to be now feeling so settled at his hometown club.
“It’s been a big learning curve for myself,” Chester told Love Rugby League.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that there’s more to life than rugby at times.
“I let myself get dragged in a little bit too much, and it had an effect on what was going on at home as well.
“Certainly, the work – life balance is a lot better this year, only having to travel five minutes from my house to work.
“To be able to pick my kids up from school, and to take them on my days off, is something I’ve never been able to do with working over at Hull, and my eldest girl is seven years old now.
“It meant early mornings and late finishes.
“It’s certainly opened my eyes up to that side of things as well. It was a challenging time.
“I wouldn’t swap it for the world, though. I loved every minute of my time at Hull KR.
“But I’m loving every minute of my time here at Wakefield too, and my wife keeps telling me I’m a better person for it.”
His departure from Hull KR was not marked by bitterness or animosity, however, and Chester is keen to stress that he still enjoys positive personal relationships with his former colleagues at the Robins.
Even though Rovers were relegated, and Chester steered Wakefield to the safety of the Super 8s, he does not in any way feel that his subsequent relative success is any way revenge for being dismissed from his previous job.
“I wasn’t out to prove anybody wrong,” he added.
“It was probably the right decision at the time with Hull KR.
“Match results weren’t great, the friendlies hadn’t been great.
“I was disappointed with the way it all ended there, and I fully understand the reasons behind it.
“I had a good relationship with the people there, and I continue to have a good relationship with those people.
“But to come here and coach my hometown team is a dream come true.”
He also acknowledges that injuries and bad luck played their part in his dismissal from Rovers, but he accepts that a coach is often a hostage to fortune.
“At Hull KR, we were never able to put our strongest team out,” he said.
“I’ve never known an injury list like the injury list that we had.
“That’s sport, that’s just how it is.
“I know that you live and die by your decisions that you make.
“It’s results based, and, if results aren’t going well, you can expect a knock on the door.”