Rochdale Hornets appoint experienced boss as head coach for 2023

Rochdale Hornets have appointed Gary Thornton as their permanent head coach for the 2023 season.

Thornton has been in interim charge of the League One club since previous boss Matt Calland left in August, having previously been assistant coach.

The Hornets are currently aiming for promotion to the Championship through the play-off series, beating Oldham in the opening round last weekend.

Thornton is a vastly experienced coach in the lower divisions over the best part of two decades, having led Batley Bulldogs, York City Knights, Doncaster and Hunslet.

“When I originally came in, to assist Matt, I had no plans to resume a head coach role and was just happy to be back doing what I enjoy – coaching Rugby League,” said Thornton.

“But obviously things changed with the unfortunate departure of Matt – who I have the utmost respect for as a knowledgeable and technically astute Rugby League coach – and when I was asked to take over till the end of this season, I agreed as I thought it would give the lads some stability.

“Since then, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time and have had a fantastic response and support from the players and supporters, which has fuelled my decision to continue into 2023.”