Salford head coach Matt Parish quits after six months

 

Salford head coach Matt Parish has quit
the Super League club just six months into the job.

The 42-year-old Australian was appointed as the successor to Shaun McRae in June and arrived at the Willows a month later to take up an 18-month contract.

He was in charge for the last six matches of the season, five of which ended in defeat.

In a statement, the Super League club said: "Salford City Reds can today confirm that Matt Parish has resigned his position as head coach for personal reasons, with immediate effect."

Parish, who quit his role as right-hand man to New South Wales coach Ricky Stuart to take up his first senior coaching role, is expected to return to Australia as an assistant with an NRL club.

Today's announcement is not a complete surprise for only three matches into his rein, Parish claimed he had been misled by the Reds at the time of his appointment.

In a candid interview with Press Association Sport in August, he insisted he had not been told the truth about the team's depth of talent and claimed a major shake-up was needed if the club were to challenge in Super League.

His sudden departure leaves Salford with little time to find a successor, with pre-season training already under way and the club poised to move into a new stadium at Barton.

Parish appointed former St Helens and Great Britain scrum-half Sean Long as his assistant three months ago but he shocked the club earlier this month when he signed as a player for rugby union club Preston Grasshoppers.

Salford chairman John Wilkinson led a delegation to Australia in the summer to find a successor to McRae, who stepped down for health reasons six months before his contract was due to run out.

Another Australian, Peter Gentle, was originally offered the job but turned it down because he wanted to see the season out with Wests Tigers and he was subsequently handed the head coaching job at Hull.

The club statement added: "Matt leaves the club in a much stronger position than he found it on the field, with what the club believes to be one of the strongest and most innovative coaching set-ups in Super League ready to take the club on into the new stadium at Barton.

"Everyone at the club would like to thank Matt for his efforts whilst at the Reds and we wish him well in his future coaching career.

"Matt would like us to pass on his thanks and appreciation to the Reds fans for their fantastic support during his time in England and to the players and coaching staff for their hard work and dedication.

"There will be no further comment on this issue. Announcements regarding the coaching staff will be made in due course."

PA

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