Rugby League

Halifax Panthers

16 Aug 2023

Halifax Panthers appoint Liam Finn as new Head Coach from 2024

Halifax Panthers appoint Liam Finn as new Head Coach from 2024

2023 AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Winners Halifax Panthers have appointed Liam Finn as the club's new Head Coach on a three-year contract from 2024.

Fax born Finn, who began his playing career at The Shay back in 2002 and made 493 professional appearances across Super League and the Championship, will replace current boss Simon Grix at the end of 2023.

The 39-year-old returns to the club after leaving his position as Assistant Coach in 2022 to take up the Head Coach role at Dewsbury Rams. During his time at the FLAIR Stadium, Finn has guided the Rams to the Betfred League One title and promotion back to the second tier - an outstanding achievement for his first season in management.

Reflecting on his decision to rejoin Halifax, Finn said: "It’s really exciting; I’m absolutely delighted to take this position and be offered it and I’m just looking forward to getting started. It’s been a steep learning curve at Dewsbury and obviously completely different to being an assistant. A lot more decisions and a lot more conversations and awkward chats to have, a lot to more learn which has been really good.

"Obviously, going away from Halifax as assistant and stepping up to head coach at Dewsbury and learning that side of it, I feel like I’ve developed at lot in the last 12 months. I’m looking forward hopefully keeping up that improvement whilst I’m at this great club and hopefully, we have some more successful times."

Despite wanting to put his own stamp on things after taking over from Grix, Finn believes that he will not need to reinvent Halifax's style of play heading into 2024.

Finn added: "I just want to take over from where Simon is leaving off. He’s done a great job and obviously, we worked together for a brief period last year so it would be more about evolving that style of play rather than coming in and doing any sort of revolutionary things or trying to go down a completely different path because I don’t think there’s an awful lot wrong with the style of rugby that Halifax play.

“They play an attractive brand and defend really tough so if we can build on that and try to tweak a few things here and there and add my little bits to it, hopefully we can keep improving and going on an upward curve."

Commenting on the appointment of Finn, Halifax Director of Rugby Richard Durgan said: "First and foremost, we’re very happy with the fact that we’ve managed to secure Liam. The process was good, there was some good applicants, not just here but further afield. But it was fairly obvious fairly soon into the process that Liam was the candidate we wanted. The link with Halifax is obvious but it’s not just that. It was more things around style of play, ethos, values, all the things you look for in any kind of job role really so it became clear fairly fast that he was the man for us.

"Essentially we’re in sport and we want to win but also, it’s about entertainment as well so you want to play a certain brand of rugby. I think Simon has clearly done that over the years so having someone that has worked alongside Simon previously and has a similar ethos about how he plays is important for us. We want to be entertaining as well as successful so it was clear fairly quickly despite some very good candidates and some very good interviews, Liam was the stand out."

Image: Halifax Panthers