Simon Grix to depart Halifax Panthers for Super League opportunity

Ben Olawumi
Simon Grix Halifax Panthers SWpix

Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix

It was announced yesterday that long-serving head coach Simon Grix would be departing Halifax Panthers come the end of the season, and reports now suggest that he will be linking up former boss Tony Smith at Hull FC in 2024.

The current Panthers chief has been in charge at the Shay since 2019, appointed permanently after a short stint as interim.

Seeing his first full season in charge curtailed after just four games due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Grix guided Halifax to the play-offs in both 2021 and 2022.

He also began his career with Fax, making 29 appearances for his hometown club between 2003 and 2004. Then returning in 2016 to finish off his playing days, Grix would appear a further 61 times across four seasons before retiring.

Simon Grix gets Super League opportunity

When Grix departed Halifax back in 2004, his next club would be Warrington Wolves in Super League. Nine seasons would be spent at the Halliwell Jones Stadium by the former utility, with Tony Smith his boss for seven of those years at Wire.

Skip forward to the present day, and after numerous moves in the last few years, Australian Smith now finds himself at the helm of Hull FC.

According to reports from local news outlet Hull Live, the deal to bring in former Ireland international Grix from 2024 is already done.

Meanwhile, the broadcaster known as ‘The Gamecaller’ on Twitter reported: “I understand that Hull FC have offered Simon Grix a three-year deal.

“Tony Smith is a big admirer of Simon and their respect for each other is mutual from their time together at Warrington Wolves.”

Perfect ending for Grix at Halifax still possible

As noted above, the boss has led the Panthers to the play-offs in both of the two previous campaigns, without success.

2021 saw them knocked out at the semi-final stage by Featherstone Rovers, while last season Fax went out a stage earlier, losing to York Knights.

And though it appears that 2023 will be Featherstone’s year in the Championship, the Panthers this weekend have the opportunity to set up a perfect ending for Grix in the form of the 1895 Cup.

They take on London Broncos in the semi-finals of the competition, and a win would book a trip back to the capital next month for the final at Wembley.

In his own career, Grix missed out on selection through injury for three Challenge Cup finals, with Wire winning on all three occasions.

Leading his hometown club out at Wembley in three weeks’ time would surely provide the perfect ending, and be just the tonic to quell any disappointment still held today.

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