Former player and captain Ryan Hammond will take over as player-coach of Old Crossleyans RUFC next season.
He has been given the task of restoring the Broomfield club’s fortunes after a third successive relegation was confirmed last Saturday, in spite of a 38-21 success at home to Pontefract.
Hammond has gained valuable coaching experience whilst playing in Australia and more recently for Murcia in Spain.
Club spokesman Howard Cooper said: “We are delighted that he has accepted our invitation and he is keen to get started once he arrives back in England this summer.
“He will join his brother Jack, who has been captaining the side this season.”
Cooper said that following success with Chris Jones as a player-coach, Crocs had been on the look out for a quality player to give them leadership on the field as well as preparing the team off it.
“We thought we had that in Neil Spence a couple of years ago, but unfortunately ‘Spenner’ had to hang his boots up.
“We know Ryan’s ability as a player from him playing with us for several seasons. He was one of the outstanding No 8s in North One East and we trust that he will get the best out of the rest of the players.”
Cooper said Crocs, who have been playing in Yorkshire Two in 2016-17, were indebted to Ian Yates and Richard Wheale for taking over the coaching duties when they were in desperate need earlier in the season.
“Both have done an excellent job and though we have finished in the relegation zone, they have brought a lot of spirit and hope back into the club,” he said.