IN COMMAND: Col Speed at a pre-season training session earlier this year.
IN COMMAND: Col Speed at a pre-season training session earlier this year. Orara Valley Axemen

Speed swings axe on Orara Valley coaching role

RUGBY LEAGUE: After almost two and a half years at the club Col Speed has announced his decision to part ways with Group 2 Rugby League side Orara Valley Axemen this week.

Speed signed for the club on January 10, 2017 and led the struggling side to a sixth place finish before jumping up to second spot on the ladder the following year.

Club president Joe McMenemy thanked the former coaches contribution to the club in a press release on the Orara Valley Axemen face book page on Friday, stating just how much of an impact he has had.

"Col came with years of experience, expert football knowledge and great contacts nationwide," McMenemy said in the post.

"His time with the club brought many positive outcomes such as hosting international exhibition games, working with local charity groups and making the finals last year."

 

LOCKED IN: Col Speed in full focus mode at Orara Valley Axemen training earlier this year.
LOCKED IN: Col Speed in full focus mode at Orara Valley Axemen training earlier this year. Orara Valley Axemen

The former Grafton Ghosts premiership-winning coach turned the Axemen into true competitors in a tough competition but after a difficult off-season with departing players, Orara sit in seventh after the first half of the season and last weekend's 62-0 loss to the Sawtell Panthers is expected to be the tipping point for the Speed.

McMenemy highlighted the factors that may have contributed to Speed's falling out with the club.

"The start of the 2019 season brought many changes within the club. A new passionate committee, fresh recruits but also the loss of valuable players who had been with the club in previous years," he said.

 

ON TARGET: Col Speed eyeing his Orara Valley Axemen at a training session earlier this year.
ON TARGET: Col Speed eyeing his Orara Valley Axemen at a training session earlier this year. Brad Greenshields

"With the constant on field struggles the team was faced with, Col felt that he had taken the club as far as he could for the 2019 season and therefore decided to depart mid-season from his coaching role at the Orara Valley Axemen RLFC on good terms."

His presence will undoubtedly be missed as the Axemen announced they will move forward with an unnamed interim coach.

STRONG MINDED: Col Speed leading by example as he pushes the Orara Valley Axemen to the limit.
STRONG MINDED: Col Speed leading by example as he pushes the Orara Valley Axemen to the limit. Orara Valley Axemen