AFTER weeks of speculation, Bradford Bulls head coach Geoff Toovey has confirmed he will not be returning to the club in 2018.
The former Manly Sea Eagles chief was a high-profile appointment ahead of last season but - with the crisis-torn West Yorkshire club deducted 12 points after liquidation - was unable to prevent their relegation from the Championship.
The three-times World Club champions start next term in League 1 with a game at York City Knights on Sunday February 18.
But ex-Kangaroos scrum-half Toovey, currently home in Australia, has said he will not be heading back to Odsal.
Leigh Beattie will take caretaker control once more, just as he did after the club’s new owners released Rohan Smith in January ahead of Toovey’s takeover which was officially delayed due to visa issues.
However, ex-Huddersfield Giants head coach Jon Sharp, who left Featherstone Rovers in July, is widely reported as being ready to take the helm as the fallen giants seek to start over again.
Bradford co-owner Andrew Chalmers stated: “Geoff joined us as we embarked on our journey to re-build the club.
“He worked tirelessly with the support of the football staff to try and overcome last season’s 12-point penalty.
“We would like to thank Geoff for stepping in at a difficult time and for the personal sacrifices he made to commit to last season. We wish him all the best in the future.”
Toovey, 48, added: “It was a tough decision not to return to the Bradford Bulls for a second year.
“Last year was one of the most challenging years that I’ve had as a coach.
“The club and the fans made the experience one I will never forget.
“From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank the club, coaching staff, players, sponsors and fans for their unwavering support throughout the year.
“I’m confident the club will have an excellent season in 2018 and continue to move forward beyond the coming year.”