'Every coach's journey at a club comes to an end': James Ford swaps York City Knights for Wakefield Trinity

York City Knights have confirmed that James Ford has been granted a release to take up an assistant coach role with Wakefield Trinity.

The 40-year-old became Knights head coach in 2015 and established the club in the top half of the Championship.

Ford steered York to the semi-finals this year after masterminding a first-ever play-off win at Championship level.

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He has ended his long association with the club - which began as a player in 2011 - to join Mark Applegarth's backroom team at Wakefield.

"Every coach’s journey at a club comes to an end," he said.

"Players and coaches come and go but the club is still there. It’s in safe hands and I am desperate to see York continue improving and become a Super League club in the very near future."

On his move to Belle Vue, Ford added: “Mark is someone I know really well and I’m excited to work with him again.

“I was always impressed with his work ethic alongside numerous other qualities and characteristics, so when he offered me the opportunity to come to Wakefield I was extremely keen to get on board.

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James Ford has swapped York City Knights for Wakefield Trinity. (Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)James Ford has swapped York City Knights for Wakefield Trinity. (Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
James Ford has swapped York City Knights for Wakefield Trinity. (Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

“Mark has spoken about the challenges we’ll face and I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone at the club and working together on these challenges.

“I’m a West Yorkshire lad and I understand how people in and around Wakefield feel about their rugby. I’m honoured and privileged to work for you all.”

Wakefield have also announced the appointment of Andreas Liefeith as head of performance, while Joel Fulford returns to the club as first-team strength and conditioning coach, and Matty Nicholson takes over from Applegarth as head of youth.

Applegarth, who took over from Willie Poching as Trinity head coach at the end of the 2022 Super League season, is looking forward to linking back up with Ford.

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“Myself and James Ford grew up coaching together at Wakefield College and he’s gone on to do a brilliant job at York,” said Applegarth.

“He complements me really well in terms of our strengths and I think he’ll be a great addition to the group.

"He’s a real technical coach, good at detailing, speaks well in front of the group and is a real thinker of the game.

“I’m really delighted to have him on board and think he will be a quality addition.”

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