Force coach Mitchell won’t re-apply for position

Western Force Head Coach John Mitchell has confirmed that he will not re-apply for his position once his current contract expires after the 2011 Super 15.

Mitchell coached the All Blacks for two years before taking his current job with the Force in 2006 but this season the team has not won a match and are sitting in last place.

RugbyWA CEO Vern Reid said that he was informed today that Mitchell would not be re-applying,”I’ve been in communication with John’s management who advised today his intention not to seek reappointment following the end of his current contract at the end of the 2011 season.”

“John Mitchell has been a key figure in the establishment of a successful rugby programme at the Western Force. ” said Reid.

“His high profile as an international coach was a significant drawcard in the formation of our initial squad.

“His coaching reputation has continued to see the club attract talented players to Perth and his leadership has helped the Western Force develop many talented youngsters into the Wallabies programme.”

“Seven years is a long time as a Head Coach of a team in an international sport and John has made the decision to seek another challenge. We will discuss with John the possibility of an ongoing role as we move towards the end of his formal association.”

“The timing of the announcement will allow us ample opportunity to find the best candidate for the Head Coaching position following the 2011 season. In the meantime it is business as usual for the coaching staff and players as they prepare for a match against the Bulls on Saturday night at ME Bank Stadium.”

Mitchell said he remained committed to seeing out his current contract.

“Admittedly, the club has had a tough time this year, having lost a number of current Wallabies and a marquee Springbok international through injury,” Mitchell told AAP.

“But I must say the resolve and commitment of the players remains particularly strong, as they comprehensively demonstrated in our gutsy narrow loss to the Waratahs last weekend.

“The Force has achieved a lot in the short time it’s been competing in one of the toughest rugby tournaments in the world.”

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