League One winners Dewsbury Rams face fight to retain Liam Finn amid Halifax Panthers links

DEWSBURY Chairman Mark Sawyer accepts that keeping hold of Liam Finn could be difficult after the Rams’ League One promotion romp.

The former Super League and Ireland halfback has impressed in his first head coaching role by leading his charges to the third-tier title with just one defeat in 17 games so far.

The 39-year-old has already been linked with hometown club Halifax, where he started his playing career and worked as assistant to coach Simon Grix last season before his switch five months in to Dewsbury, for whom he played between 2006 and 2009.

Finn, who cut his coaching teeth with Wakefield, where he had two spells as a player (he also represented Featherstone, Castleford and Newcastle), inherited a Rams side who had lost 13 out of 15 league matches, and was unable to steer them to safety.

But Dewsbury stalwart Sawyer backed him to lead the way to an immediate return to the Championship – and has been rewarded for his faith.

“Playing in League One is tough financially, because there’s a toxic combination of having to make some long trips while having only 18 fixtures,” said the boardroom chief.

“But we deserved to be there, because we weren’t good enough in the Championship last year, and I remain an advocate of promotion and relegation.

“Liam knew he had a big job to do, and I’m delighted for him and the club that it’s been achieved with only one real blip, our defeat at Hunslet a few weeks ago.

“I’m also relieved that we don’t have to go through the play-offs, because it’s a tough way to win promotion.

“Of course other clubs will have been looking on, and with the coaching merry-go-round being as it is, it’s inevitable Liam will be linked with other jobs.

“That’s part and parcel of sport, and you have to accept it. In an ideal world, we’d like to keep hold of him, but it could be difficult.”