Dave Doherty set for emotional farewell as Harrogate RUFC visit Sedgley Park Tigers

After six years at the helm, Dave Doherty takes charge of his final Harrogate RUFC fixture this weekend.

By Rhys Howell
Saturday, 30th April 2022, 7:59 am
Updated Saturday, 30th April 2022, 8:01 am
Dave Doherty is leaving Harrogate RUFC after six years at Rudding Lane. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Dave Doherty is leaving Harrogate RUFC after six years at Rudding Lane. Picture: Caught Light Photography

The former London Wasps and Sale Sharks winger will step down from his role as the Aces‘ director of rugby following the conclusion of Saturday’s National Two North clash with Sedgley Park Tigers.

And he expects the occasion to be an emotional one.

“I’ll be sad on Saturday, 100 per cent,” Doherty said

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“I’ve put my heart and soul into this club for six years. It’s been a huge challenge, but one which I’ve enjoyed.

“But, while there will be some sadness, I’m proud to be leaving the team in National Two North, with absolutely no debt.

“I was dealt some pretty tough cards when I took over with the financial situation and a load of senior players all leaving in one go, and I feel as if I move on with the club in a better position.

“But, it’s time for me to take a break from rugby. This sport has been my life for the past 18 years, the past three of which have been pretty tough, and it will be nice to be able to spend some time on a weekend with my family.”

Injury-hit Harrogate head into their final fixture of the campaign well adrift at the bottom of the table and on a run of 13 consecutive defeats.

And with Sedgley Park currently third in the division, Doherty admits that his players will do well to provide him with the kind of send-off he would like in an ideal world.

“You’d love to go out with a win, but this is definitely going to be another really, really tough one,” he added.

“Sedgley Park are very strong. They’re defectively a professional outfit and are blessed with a number of brilliant players for this level of rugby.

“Going there is always going to be a big ask for us, but with the amount of players we have out through injury, it just makes it so difficult.”

‘Gate announced earlier this week that ex-England scrum-half Martyn Wood, a former Harrogate player, will return to the club to replace Doherty as director of rugby ahead of the 2022/23 season.

Sam Fox will stay on in his role as head coach, with Aled Jones taking on the position of head of rugby transition.