Lee Greenwood has informed the club that he will be stepping down at the end of the season.
The former Super League winger, who earned two international caps for England, joined us as head coach ahead of the start of the 2015 season. In his three years in charge he has refused to use the controversial dual-registration system and has remained loyal to his objective of promoting local players.
There have been many highlights along the way. In his first season in charge we were the only southern team to beat a northern team in the league which helped us finish top of the expansion team mini-league. Last season, in one of the most thrilling games in our short history, we came from 36-16 down to beat North Wales Crusaders in the last play of the game in the third round of the Challenge Cup. This season there have been many memorable performances, including a 46-22 hammering of Keighley in the League and a 30-22 win at Workington.
Throughout his tenure in charge Lee has put player development at the heart of his coaching philosophy. In 2015 no less than six All Golds’ featured in the European Championships, with Lewis Reece, Courtney Davies and Steve Parry all playing a major role in Wales’ tournament success. Earlier this summer four players – James Mason, Ben Stead, Brad Kislingbury and Harry Kidd – were selected for the Student World Cup in Australia.
Speaking to Allgoldsrugby.com Lee said: “After three seasons in charge, I feel the time is right to move on and look for other coaching opportunities. For the club to move forward again, I believe they need a coach based in the area. For me, I hope I can be given the chance at a club closer to home.
“I will look back at my time in charge of the All Golds fondly and with immense pride. I made no secret of the way I felt the club should be run and I am happy that I stayed strong to those values throughout. To remain relatively competitive on the field without the use of dual-registration and not moving our training base to the north of England is a fantastic achievement. Obviously these decisions made things very difficult recruitment wise, but in the long run they should bear fruit.
“There have been some obvious highlights – finishing as the highest placed Southern team in 2015, reaching the League 1 Cup Semi-Final two years in a row, victories against northern opposition in each of the three seasons plus plenty of club records being set in the process. The wins against Keighley and Workington this year will stay with me for a long time.
“Finally, I would like to thank the players and staff that have been involved with the club over my time for their efforts and help. I wish the club the best of luck in the future and I hope they continue to progress on and off the field. Not forgetting, we still have the rest of the season to go at yet, so hopefully there will be some more things to celebrate.”
All Golds general manager Patrick Evans paid tribute to Greenwood. He said: “On behalf of the club I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lee for taking us forward as much as he has. What he has achieved is testament to his character and his determination to ensure we do things the right way and not conceding to the Dual Registration route or moving our training base up north, has allowed our southern based players to develop significantly.
“As Lee mentions we have recorded several club records and achievements, however his biggest praises should be reserved for the number of players that have been called up for international duty. There is no higher honour than representing your country and I know the all the players who have achieved this under his tenure are grateful for how much his coaching has improved their game.
“The club will also look back fondly on his time in charge and will ensure the values he has instilled are carried on. Everyone at the club is of the belief that the next step forward will be to appoint a coach who is southern based, allowing our focus on player development to flourish even further.
“I would like to wish Lee the best of Luck for the future and look forward to hopefully finishing the season on a high.”