Tony Benson relieved of his duties

TONY Benson, Roughyeds’ coach for the past four seasons, has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect. Martin Roden, his No 2, will take over as caretaker boss to the end of the season.

Tony, who was on a one-year contract, was told this morning (Monday, August 6) when he and club chairman Chris Hamilton met for talks following yesterday’s 42-16 defeat at Barrow which sent Roughyeds toppling out of the top six of Co-operative Championship One for the first time.Mr Hamilton said later: “Despite what people may think it was, as it always is, a hard decision to tell somebody you are having to dispense with their services.

“Tony has been at the club for a number of years and has certainly known, through no fault of his own, more than his fair share of difficult times in that period.

“He has always been somebody who has bought into the ethos of the club and its situation.

“This year has also been difficult for him because of the catalogue of injuries we have had for a big chunk of the season.

“He had earned the right to be given the opportunity try to improve things when the injury situation eased, but coaches are ultimately judged on results.

“I have, therefore, taken this decision now to give the club the opportunity to be best prepared for next season, albeit that there is still plenty for us to play for over the next three league games and hopefully in the play-offs.

“Players must also make sure they are committed to the club whether they are going to be with us beyond this season or not. We expect nothing less than 100 per cent.

“I would like to place on record my thanks to Tony for all his hard work during his time at the club. I wish him nothing but good luck for the future.

“He has become a friend and hopefully will remain so, and he will always be welcome at the club.

“I have spoken to Martin Roden, who will step up to take charge for the remaining games this season.

“This will provide the continuity that we need right now. I thank Martin for agreeing to take on the role.”