James Ford and Mark Applegarth on their latest reunion at Wakefield Trinity

James Ford is excited to work with his old friend Mark Applegarth as the pair link up in Wakefield again.

Ford and Applegarth first coached together at Wakefield College, alongside their respective playing careers.

Applegarth was then player-assistant coach under Ford when he first took the reins at York in 2015, where Ford stayed until last week being appointed as Applegarth’s number two at Wakefield Trinity.

While Ford was leading York from League One to the top end of the Championship table, Applegarth returned to Wakefield through a range of coaching roles which resulted in getting the job of head coach last month.

Ford used to be the senior coach and is a couple of years older, but he says he could not turn down the opportunity presented to him.

“I know Mark really well and I’m excited to work with him again,” said Ford.

“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.

“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.”

Applegarth explained why he believes the two will work well as a team: “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 on the game.

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

Meanwhile Andreas Liefeith, who has been involved at Wakefield part-time for several years, has been appointed as the club’s head of performance.

Joel Fulford returns to the club as first-team strength and conditioning coach while Matt Cook completes the performance team.

Applegarth’s former role – head of youth – has been taken up by Matty Nicholson, who joins from Keighley Cougars.

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