I went for the big job: New Castleford assistant wanted head coach role

George Riley
Craig Lingard Batley Bulldogs SWpix

Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix

Craig Lingard has revealed how an impressive interview for the Castleford head coach job led to him instead being offered the role as Andy Last’s assistant.

The highly-rated Batley coach was this week confirmed as the new Tigers number two, combining his first ever Super League job with his Batley duties for the rest of the season.

And Lingard has told Love Rugby League how he went up against Last for the big job before being offered the role as his assistant.

“I spoke to them about the head coach position and they asked if I’d be interested in the assistant coaching job if I didn’t get the top job,” he said.

“Then Lasty got the job, they contacted me about coming as assistant, and we got it over the line. From the initial conversation to getting the deal done it was fairly swift, less than seven days.

“I got through to the second stage of interviews for the head coach job. They narrowed it down to two or three for the very last stage which I didn’t get to. They said there were three stages and I got through the first two.”

Craig Lingard: A natural progression

Lingard insists the time is right to leave Mount Pleasant and sees the move as a step up rather than a step back.

“It’s a natural progression from a part-time environment,” Lingard said.

“I think it’s difficult for a Super League club to give the head coach’s job to someone who has never coached or worked in a full-time environment.

“For me, going from a part-time head coach to a full-time assistant coach is the natural next step in my coaching career.

“If it goes well then of course I want to be a full-time head coach in Super League somewhere.  This is not a backward step, it is a progressive, forward step.”

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