THERE won’t be any John Farnham Whispering Jack-type comebacks for Steve Haylen and Gary “Bomber” Jones.
The popular Muswellbrook Rams co-coaches have called it a day after leading the first grade outfit to consecutive Group 21 grand final appearances.
Unfortunately, title success eluded the pair with the Scone Thoroughbreds prevailing in 2016 and the Aberdeen Tigers ruining the party at Olympic Park earlier in the month.
But, during that time, the club claimed a minor premiership, halfback Cade Boney (2016) and prop Dylan Thorne (2017) took out Player of the Year awards, and Haylen and Jones received plenty of plaudits, too.
“We’re leaving on good terms,” Bomber admitted.
“And, I think we’ve got the [rugby league] interest back in town.
“The club’s in a strong position.
“However, it’s time for the Rams to take the next step forward.”
Jones said the duo was prepared to leave this year – win, lose or draw in the decider.
“We actually told the board back in July and informed the players a few weeks later,” he told the Chronicle.
“I’ve got rep footy obligations, while we both have family commitments; our children are growing up.
“Originally, it was only going to be a one-season stint.
“Then, after the Thoroughbreds beat us, the players asked us to reconsider.
“So, Steve and I decided to give it another crack.
“That’s why the loss to Aberdeen was devastating.
“At the end of the day, all coaches want to win a competition.
“We’re just a couple of Muswellbrook lads who wanted to help the club out.
“On paper, we probably didn’t have the best sides over the past two years.
“But, the players played for each other.
“We’re certainly proud of the guys – they bought into what we were trying to do.
“You can’t ask for much more.”