Frustrated Jones quits as Ovenden coach

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

Ovenden coach Gareth Jones will step down from his role as first team player-boss with the Division Two side at the end of this season.

The former Halifax professional will remain with the Four Fields outfit as a player and will focus his coaching on the club’s junior set up.

“I have told them I do not want to carry on beyond this season; it’s taken too much energy,” said Jones, who takes his side to Shaw Cross in league action tomorrow.

“I want to concentrate on playing and to help with the juniors because that’s where the future of the club lies.”

Jones confessed to being frustrated with aspects of the first team culture at the club, culminating in last weekend’s 27-24 loss at Normanton when he fielded five players under 17.

“The rot has set in over the last five or six weeks in terms of people not training and still expecting to be picked,” he said.

“I was away for two weeks, I had a good think about it and when I came back I just said ‘If you are not training, you are not playing’.

“That’s how it is going to be from now until the end of the season; I will pick a side from the people who come and put in a couple of decent shifts at training during the week rather than begging senior players to play.

“We had five in from the under 18s at Normanton and they put in a pretty good performance.

“We almost did everything right but fatigue probably got them at the end and the result just slipped away from them.”

Gareth Greenwood takes his Siddal side to Saddleworth in the Premier Division tomorrow aiming to bounce straight back from last week’s Conference Cup quarter final exit at Egremont.

The league leaders slipped out of the competition 34-30 on a madcap afternoon which saw them play a total of almost half an hour with just 11 men, but still only miss out on victory in the final seconds of the game.

Siddal full back Scott Caley was red-carded after five minutes for alleged use of the knees with Simeon Hoyle following him for dissent late in the game.

In between, two sin-binnings left Greenwood’s side stretched to their limit against their Division One opponents.

“We played most of it with 12 and a fair chunk of it with 11, but should still have won,” said Greenwood, who continued his personal rehabilitation from a knee reconstruction with a role on the bench.

“We were still winning at the end, but we got pinged for two or three penalties on the bounce and they got us on the last play to snatch it.

“It’s frustrating and I blew up at them at the end.

“We had a good side out.”