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Acorn players not responding to coach led to change at the top
A FAILURE to get the right response from the players led to the departure of Simon Tuffs as York Acorn ARLC head coach, according to the club’s rugby chairman.
Tuffs, the former Featherstone Rovers star, has been asked to step down from the role just four months after he controversially replaced club stalwart Alfie Hill in the National Conference League club’s hot seat.
The move by the Acorn club’s rugby committee came after a comprehensive 38-12 home victory over Wigan St Jude’s, but that was only the third win of the premier division season and the Blue and Golds remain in the relegation zone after 11 matches.
Acorn, under Hill, had finished the past two seasons in the play-offs after being promoted to amateur rugby league’s elite tier for the first time in their history.
Rugby chairman Steve Bromwich said ending Tuffs’ reign was a decision taken by the rugby committee as a whole.
“The committee decided that the players weren’t responding in the way we thought they would to someone with Simon’s experience and success,” he said.
“It decided it was probably the best thing to do, to let him go and appoint someone who can maybe help us to get out of the precarious position we’re in right now.
“There was a good result at the weekend but the bigger picture has to be looked at.
“Where we are in the league is not great and some of the players were not responding the way they could or should do.
“Simon has put in every effort and I and the committee thank him for that work.”
Former York City Knights stand-off Scott Rhodes, who played for Acorn after stepping down from the semi-professional arena, has been put in temporary charge.
Bromwich said: “The job will be re-advertised. We’re very fortunate that Scott Rhodes has agreed to step in and steady the ship until we find someone in a position to take on the coaching role permanently.”
Tuffs’ arrival – or at least Hill’s departure – in the summer had not been without contention.
Hill – who had been at Acorn for 33 years as player, coach, and rugby committee chief, barring two seasons coaching neighbours Heworth in the 2000s – had resigned as coach at the end of last season due to personal circumstances.
He then reversed that decision and said he would be able to continue as his circumstances had changed but, according to the club, by that time, the process to find a new coach had begun and “could not be stopped”.
Tuffs, who had an impressive record as Featherstone Lions ARLC coach, was then installed.
Asked if that decision was now shown to be questionable, Bromwich said: “I was not on the committee then so I cannot comment on that.”
Unbeaten York Acorn ‘A’ face a top-of-the-table clash at home to Dewsbury Celtic ‘A’ in Yorkshire League division two.