Club Statement – Payne stood down from head coach role

Newcastle Thunder will undertake a review of its coaching structure in the coming days after releasing Jason Payne from his position as Head Coach.

He will take a three-month break from all duties with the club with his future involvement to be discussed at the end of this hiatus.

Thunder have acted following concerns over team performance in the first two Betfred League 1 matches, with defeats to Doncaster and Coventry Bears.

Current assistant coach Tim Rumford and Academy Manager Michael Heap will be in caretaker charge of the team ahead of this weekend’s trip to London Skolars.

Meanwhile, Newcastle are currently assessing available options as they look to restructure the coaching staff with an announcement planned during March.

Newcastle Thunder chairman Mick Hogan said: “We have requested that Jason relinquish control of the Head Coach position with immediate effect.

“After further investment in the 2019 squad, we have not started the season as we had hoped and in what is a relatively short campaign, we have had to act decisively in the best interests of the club.

“Jason is a club legend, having been involved with Thunder for almost 12 years and serving it well throughout that time. We will discuss his future involvement after this three-month break.

“We’d like to thank Jason for all his efforts and commitment and it is our sincere hope that he will continue to be a part of Newcastle Thunder going forward.”