BARNSLEY RUFC’s new coach admits there is pressure taking over with the team on 12 wins from 12 games so far, but believes that they can go all season unbeaten.
Kieran ‘Kez’ Hyde will lead the Shaw Laners on matchdays after Ant Posa moved to Sheffield RUFC having taken Barnsley to the top of Yorkshire Division Three, 12 points clear.
Ryan Burrows is the new head coach but will not be present for most matches due to his commitments as a player for Coventry.
So former professional rugby league player Hyde will be in charge for games.
He said: “Ant will be a big loss because he’s a very good coach and a leader who everyone respected.
“When he said something, everyone listened.
“I have been involved in the coaching set-up, under Ant, all season and took charge of one game while he was away.
“I have a few more years left as a player but I will be looking at a coaching role going forward.
“I was happy to take the role.
“It’s good that the club has shown faith in me.
“I do feel the pressure to keep winning but we want to keep the same standards.
“We have a lot of experienced leaders in the team who will demand the young lads don’t get complacent.
“I don’t see why we can’t go unbeaten all season.
“If we lose, it will be down to us letting ourselves down rather than the other team being better.”
Hyde played for Bradford Bulls and Wakefield Trinity in rugby league’s Super League.
The 32-year-old, who is originally from Dodworth but now lives in Wombwell, plays and coaches at Dodworth Rugby League Club as well as at Shaw Lane.
“I played for Yorkshire at every age group and toured Australia with England under 18s for five weeks.
“Super League was the pinnacle and I managed to get there.
“I played more than 100 pro and semi-pro games.
“I enjoyed my career but now it’s time to focus on giving a little bit back.
“I’m focusing on coaching my little boy’s under tens team at Dodworth and also helping Barnsley.”
Barnsley were relegated from Yorkshire League Two in 2020 and are hoping to compete well at that level next season.
“You don’t want to be a team that yo-yos up and down.
“We want to be pushing for promotion or at least in mid-table every year.
“The relegation was a big shame and a wake-up call for a lot of the lads.
“We have been preparing for every game this season like it’s a final.
“We have had some close games but others when we’ve blown teams away.”
Next up is a home match with Harrogate Pythons tomorrow, who they defeated 45-18 in September.
Harrogate are now fifth, four points behind the second promotion place.
Hyde said: “When we played them at their ground they were a very strong team with a good forward pack and very strong backs.
“I think that was our best performance of the season.
“Our line-outs and scrums went really well and everything just went for us.
“We got into our rhythm and they couldn’t really handle us.
“I am expecting that sort of performance again and we can get on top of them early on. But it will be a tough game.”
Barnsley Ladies are due to host Firwood Waterloo on Sunday.
Wath are due to visit Leeds Corinthians in Yorkshire Division Two tomorrow.