Halifax RL: Marshall loses assistant coaches as cost-cutting bites

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Halifax boss Richard Marshall has confirmed that assistant coaches Chris Rose and Marlon Billy have not been retained for 2017 as a cost-cutting measure.

It is the first - but possibly not the last - outward sign of the financial “consequences” that Marshall had alluded to following his side’s failure to complete a top four Championship finish.

Halifax-born Rose, a schoolteacher who has also worked for Leeds’ youth set up, and Billy, the former Swinton player and coach, were both part of the backroom staff that Marshall put in place when he arrived at the club at the end of 2015.

“There isn’t the funding for two assistant coaches in the budgets, it’s as simple as that,” admitted Marshall.

“Marlon has been with me since the beginning and he’s a great bloke and a great coach and hopefully we will get the chance to work together again at some stage when circumstances allow.

“Chris is Halifax through and through and he’s genuinely passionate about the club.

“It is difficult for me to swallow but I understand it and they understand it, it’s something that’s unavoidable, unfortunately.

“It’s purely a business decision and sometimes those decisions are difficult ones.”

Marshall said he would take up some of the slack left by the pair’s exit, although he also plans to discuss the situation with “a couple of senior players”.

Marshall declined to name names, but captain Scott Murrell and former Warrington star Simon Grix, who helped mentor the club’s reserve side this year, are likely to be near the top of that list.

“I’ll shoulder some extra work personally and we’ll look at sharing the rest out,” said Marshall.

“We’ve lost two extra pairs of eyes and ears, but we’ll work with what we’ve got and get on with the job of putting things right next season.”

The club’s conditioner Andy Holleyhead stays in place, while Martin Gonzalez and Steve Greenwood are likely to remain in charge of the reserve grade side, providing it too survives the current round of savings.

Marshall said he had yet to have confirmation that would be the case, although he hinted there would be element of external fund raising to try and ensure its continuation.

“We had some fantastic help from the Supporters’ Trust this year and hopefully that will continue,” said Marshall.

“As long as our supporters and the wider community believe in that team as a pathway for local players to play for their hometown club, we cannot afford to let it go.

“But the reality is that it has to be paid for.”