Halifax Panthers are pleased to announce Anthony Irvine and Jon Kelly have joined the clubs coaching staff ahead of the 2023 Betfred Championship season. Head coach Simon Grix moved quickly to add the duo to his backroom staff this off season to compliment his coaching set up at The Shay.
Halifax-born Irvine will join the club as Assistant Coach while Kelly will become our new Strength and Conditioning Coach, taking over the role recently vacated by Grix’s brother Scott who joined Leeds Rhinos this autumn.
“It’s a massive honour to be involved at my hometown club”, said new assistant coach Anthony Irvine. “I’ve supported Halifax from a young age up at Thrum Hall and I’ve also grown up with Simon and spent a lot of time with him over the last few years so my role is just to support him and carry on the good work he’s been doing in recent times.”
“I’ve got a vast amount of knowledge from my previous 24 years in coaching at various levels across the sport. We see the game in similar ways, I come from a half back background so we like to play a good style of rugby. Hopefully, I’m here to add to that and take us forward into 2023.”
New Strength and Conditioning coach Jon Kelly was also excited about his new role.
“I’m pretty grateful actually to be joining the Panthers. I was looking for somewhere in the offseason and as soon as Scott got in touch saying can I come and replace him, I said yes straight away. There’s a great base here to work with, I can add a few tweaks but they’ve done a great job with the lads previously so I’m looking to carry on that good work.”
Panthers boss Simon Grix continued: “I’ve known Irv since forever. He played in the academy here a long time ago and he’s a Halifax fan so knows what this club is all about. He has really good standards and values, is a really good person and is enthusiastic about learning, which will only benefit our group. He’s good around the lads so we’re happy to have him on board in our set up as assistant coach.”
“Obviously with Scott leaving, the timing has been really good for each of us. Jon is an experienced professional having previously worked at Wakefield, Salford and Toronto. He’ll bring his own flavour to proceedings but we felt last year worked so this allows us to refresh but also maintain our identity as a team and continue doing things a certain way. Scott had a lot to do with pointing us in the direction and making sure we got the right person for the job and Jon fit that bill.”
“I’m really happy to get him on board. He’s a great bloke and we expect nothing but a strong professional job from him, looking forward to working together.”