ONE-TIME York Wasps player Tim Rumford has been tasked with the job of lifting Heworth ARLC out of the doldrums after being named the club’s new head coach.

The former assistant-boss at Gateshead Thunder, who has been part of Castleford Tigers’ backroom staff, will take charge of the Villagers in pre-season, which is expected to start in mid-January, and will meet most of the team for the first time at the club’s end-of-year presentation bash on Saturday, December 8.

Rumford played for Heworth in the mid 1990s before having two spells at York Wasps, interspersed with spells in the Tigers’ Alliance team and with amateur club Castleford Lock Lane. He later turned out for Hunslet Hawks.

Heworth spokesman Ken Sykes said: “We had a bit of interest in the position of head coach and Tim was the standout candidate. We interviewed him and spoke to Gary Thornton (York City Knights boss) about him and Gary spoke well of him from when they were at Cas.

“The lad has got the right credentials, he’s got his coaching certificates, and we’re hoping he will do a good job for us. It is a big challenge to take us from where we are to where we want to be, but he’s up for it.”

Rumford, who lives near South Milford, has been player performance manager at Super League club Cas and was assistant-coach to Richard Pell with both the Tigers’ under-18s and, in 2011, at Championship One outfit Gateshead. Thornton headed up the Tigers’ academy before taking over at the Knights this off-season.

Heworth, meanwhile, have struggled in the National Conference League for several years – and have not won a game since October 2010.

Sykes said: “Tim will take an overarching role, not just with the first team – although that is the main priority – but also by integrating himself more within the whole club set-up, with the juniors and youth teams.

“We’ve got quite a lot of progress to make and it won’t happen overnight. But he’s a keen lad and he wants to do well. It’s his first head coach role but he’s got quite a lot of experience.”