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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Dont’ be too hard on yourself David

SO David Seeds quits Haven, a shock to most fans, but life goes on. Now the search starts in earnest for the next head coach.

Seeds was the fans’ overwhelming choice to succeed Ged Stokes. And it’s a filip for him to be short-listed as Championship One coach of the year. For me, it’s a crying shame that one of Whitehaven’s finest ever centre three-quarters hasn’t given himself at least one more year to establish his undoubted coaching credentials.

But given the conscientious and dedicated person he is, David has clearly made his decision in his own best interests and those of his family.

Now, another fans’ favourite, must surely emerge as a potential candidate to fill the Seeds boots. Rob Purdham’s the name – provided he’s at all interested. England’s ex-skipper is soon to leave the Harlequins and London life to return to the family’s Gosforth farm.

Rob has remained steadfast in not making any future commitments in his rugby career although there have been conflicting reports over what direction he may take. One rugby paper recently reported he may even prefer to remain in Super League, but all options seem open.

Whitehaven are on record as saying that the door is open for their former star, indeed sometime ago David Seeds, for one, foreshadowed a possible coaching opportunity for his one-time team mate.

What Haven may need, as much as anything, is a player/coach. It’s as clear as daylight that Rob Purdham would fit that bill ideally.

Look what another ex-Super League man – Jason Demetriou – has done for Keighley.

Rob, along with brother Garry, was a big favourite at The Recre and he would be welcomed back with open arms whether as player or coach – maybe both.

Mind you, if Workington can make it through to the Championship next season by winning at Keighley on Sunday then Town could be entertaining hopes of landing Rob themselves.

It’s all a guessing game at the moment and the Whitehaven club will be advertising it’s head coach vacancy next week. Would someone like John Kear be interested? Mr Kear has built a reputation as a Super League miracle worker and now departs the Wakefield Wildcats. Would a coach of his proven stature be interested in what would surely be a part-time job?

While coming to Whitehaven means stepping down into the lower echelons of professional rugby league on the other hand it’s a chance to join a club with longer term aspirations of something a lot better in a brand new stadium.

There might well be a fair bit of interest.

And of course the directors could always look at what’s available closer to home.

Would Gary Hewer – Whitehaven’s head of performance development – be in the frame, bearing in mind that coaching sidekick Les Ashe has shown his loyalty to Seeds by quitting at the same time.

The dual resignations came in the wake of Sunday’s flop at Doncaster though both appar-ently made up their minds to go in July. This was the month in which Haven suddenly hit the rails with big away defeats at Oldham and Swinton.

Meanwhile, we can only respect David Seeds’ decision to take a break from the game after giving 18 good years to the Haven cause and he certainly won’t have made it without much soul searching.

Whether the Doncaster let down, which left him “devastated”, proved the straw that finally broke the proverbial back only David will know for sure, but it’s still a pity.

But for that nine point administration deficit his team would have finished second to champions Swinton and with a home play-off tie everything could have been so different.

From that point of view it’s been a decent tran-sitional season but with hopes so high it ended in bitter disappointment. As Seedsy so honestly says: “We built a good team that could have, and probably should have, gone all the way.”

It seemed to me the only issue Seedsy might have to face is if his team won promotion back into the Championship at the first attempt. Would Haven then require a full-time coach and would David have had the time?

Whatever happens now – and who knows there may still be a role for him to fill – David Seeds’ heart will always be in the Whitehaven club. I just reckon that for a man who wore his heart on a sleeve he’s been a bit too hard on himself in his first real crack at the coaching game.

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