Doncaster RLFC: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for me’ - Gary Thornton

Gary Thornton
Gary Thornton

The Dons unveiled former Wakefield and Batley winger Gary Thornton as their new head coach last night.

Thornton, who beat off the challenge of over a dozen applicants, will be joined at the Championship club by former Dons’ favourite Peter Green, who takes on the role of assistant coach.

Gary Thornton

Gary Thornton

“We had some really good applicants but as we went through the process we kept going back to Gary – he really impressed us,” said chief executive Carl Hall.

It will be Thornton’s third stint as a head coach having previously worked at Batley, where he was the longest-serving coach in the second tier of British rugby league when he decided to leave, and at York City Knights.

The 53-year-old was sacked by Knights at the end last season despite the fact that they finished top of League One and he was named that division’s coach of the year award, as a result of their failure to come through the play-offs.

“This is a fantastic opportunity and I jumped at the chance when Carl offered me the job,” said Thornton prior to taking charge of his first training session last night.

“I’m hoping that with Pete and the other guys we can turn things around.”

Despite the club being six points adrift at the foot of the Championship table, Thornton reasoned: “It isn’t a lost cause there are 15 games left and there are a lot of winnable games and we’ll be targeting those.

“I’ve seen a couple of the recent games and one thing you can say about this group of players is that they have an awful lot of spirit and character and it will be our job to build on those qualities and try and bring in a little bit of quality.

“Sometimes their enthusiasm gets the better of them and they make some poor decisions on the back of that.”