Mantelli exits the Thunder hot-seat

Newcastle Thunder have parted company with head coach Mick Mantelli.

After a promising start to the season Thunder have lost five on the spin, culminating with Friday’s 22-18 home defeat against York City Knights.

A club statement read: “Newcastle Thunder and head coach Mick Mantelli have parted company with immediate effect.

“The club would like to place on record its thanks to Mick for all of his work during his time with Newcastle Thunder, and wish him all the best for the future.

“Assistant coach Jason Payne, a long-time Thunder captain during his playing career, will step up as interim head coach, assisted by first-team assistant coach and head of youth, Michael Heap.

“Newcastle Thunder wishes to stress its commitment to making the top-eight play-offs when the Kingstone Press League 1 splits in July, with everybody at the club determined to improve on the current league position.”

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