Duckett takes over at Otley as Rock takes off for career in RAF

Ilkley Gazette: Tom Rock has seen Otley make good progress Buy this photo » Tom Rock has seen Otley make good progress

Otley’s director of rugby Tom Rock has announced this week that he is leaving his post to start a new career in the RAF.

And already the Cross Green club have installed former Bradford Bulls chief executive Ryan Duckett as his interim replacement.

A former player with the club, 37-year-old Duckett, returns to Otley after playing for their neighbours Ilkley this season.

Rock’s brother Andrew, who works at Prince Henry’s Grammar School, will assist the coaching team which also includes Mark Luffman and Neil Hargreaves.

Otley have made good progress under Tom Rock’s guidance and are fifth in National League Two North.

He said: “It is going to be hard leaving now as the club is making good progress on and off the field.

“Times were hard when I came to the club 18 months ago, but now the outlook is great.”

He added: “I have been fortunate to receive help from a lot of people, but I shall be keeping an eye on how the club gets on. I hope I might play again in the future.”

Rock, 28, who is joining the RAF officer training school at Cranwell in January, is delighted Duckett is taking on the role of interim director of rugby.

“He has a lot of experience of playing at National League level and possesses administrative skills which he brings to the post,” he said.

Duckett is looking forward to the challenge of his new role but is quick to stress it is an interim appointment as he is looking to get back into full-time sports management.

He said: “Otley is a club I know well having had two spells there as a player. I have many friends at Cross Green.”

He also revealed that he was sorry to be leaving Ilkley.

“Ilkley is a great club with some super people,” said Duckett. “I have really enjoyed my time there and I wish them well as they bid to win promotion from Yorkshire Division One.”

Ilkley coach Rhys Morgan said: "I am sorry to see Ryan go because he has done a good job for us on the field this season.

"This is a great opportunity for him and we all wish him well."

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