Wakefield Trinity coach Mark Applegarth insists conversations will take place about his future at the club ‘when the time is right’ as he prepares for what is likely to be his final game in charge of Trinity on Friday night – before admitting he would like to remain as a head coach whatever the future may hold.
Love Rugby League exclusively revealed on Wednesday that Applegarth looks increasingly likely to be replaced by Daryl Powell as head coach of Wakefield next season should, as expected, a takeover led by local businessman Matthew Ellis go ahead.
That leaves Applegarth in an uncertain position, with the 38-year-old knowing Friday’s game against Hull KR could be his last.
Mark Applegarth remains coy on future with rumours circling around Wakefield’s pursuit of Daryl Powell
Applegarth insisted on Thursday that talk about his future can wait, and he is only focused on leading the club in their final Super League match before relegation to the Championship.
“Everyone is aware of the outside noise, I thought that would be the first question I’d get,” Applegarth said. “My job is to be head coach of Wakefield Trinity until I’m told otherwise.
“It’s part and parcel of life and sport. You shouldn’t be in these jobs if you can’t handle this speculation, it is what it is. You just get on with your own job.
“It’s part of the game at the top level. It’s nothing personal on me, I get that, it’s just speculation and if there’s any substance, it is what it is.”
Trinity boss discusses future with potential role change at club to come
When pressed about whether he could remain in a different role if Powell is appointed the next head coach of Wakefield, Applegarth remained coy.
He said: “When the time is right, and things have progressed there, there’ll be conversations about that. That’s not my conversation to have if I’m being honest, I’m head coach of the club and I’ve got responsibility for the performance side.
“It hasn’t numbed my passion for coaching, my fire is still burning as bright as ever. You don’t know what opportunities will come up when, but I’ll always do what’s right for Wakefield Trinity. I’m sure the board would back me on that one.
“That’s a conversation for people above me, at the board level, to have. It’s more for them and when the time is right, I’m sure a statement will come out about what’s happening in regards to a takeover. I’m sure if it does go through then the new owner will take it from there. I’m focussing on tomorrow night.”
Trinity chief ‘takes full responsibility’ for club’s relegation
Applegarth admitted relegation in his first season as a head coach of his hometown club ‘hurts’, and stressed he takes full responsibility for the position the club finds themselves in.
But he admitted he wasn’t disappointed with the timing of speculation over his future.
“Rugby league is naturally a small circle and people know each other. You can ask the playing group, they’ll tell you who is signing where at which club and a few weeks later it’ll get announced, that’s how small it is in terms of the noise.
“I don’t think it’s been badly handled by anyone, you’ve just got to focus on your own work. Currently, my job is to coach the first team at Wakefield Trinity and that’s all I’ve been focussing on.”