The Ospreys announced today, Wednesday 15th February, that Head Coach Sean Holley is to stand down from his post at the region by mutual agreement.
Sean, who has been with the Ospreys since their inception in 2003, will leave the organisation with immediate effect following discussions with the board over the future direction of the region.
The discussions follow the announcement in December that Director of Coaching, Scott Johnson, is also to leave the Ospreys, which has led to a top-to-toe review of the Ospreys coaching set-up.
Speaking today, Ospreys Managing Director Mike Cuddy, said:
“Sean has been an excellent servant to the region over the last nine years and can be justifiably proud of all he has achieved with the Ospreys. As part of an ambitious organisation, he has helped to take the Ospreys to silverware, with three Celtic League titles, and the Anglo-Welsh Cup, as well as reaching the three Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
“In addition, he has also played a key role in the development of so many young players coming through the ranks at the region. The Ospreys lead the way in Wales in terms of players produced for the national set-up since the inception of regional rugby, and also, in terms of players representing their home region in ERC competition. Sean has played a considerable part in those achievements, helping us towards our goal of creating a sustainable business.
“Professional sport, and top level rugby in particular, is a fast moving and ever changing environment, and after nine years in office we feel that the time is now right, particularly with Scott also moving on, to freshen things up and look at alternative options. Sean is in agreement with us that in order to move forward professionally, he too is now in a position where he needs a new challenge, and by moving on with immediate effect, it allows both him and the Ospreys to draw a clear line under the past and move forward with a fresh impetus.
“Sean will always be welcome at the Ospreys and we hope that he doesn’t become a stranger. The region would have been a far worse place had he not spent the last nine years here making history.”
Sean Holley commented:
“The Ospreys will always be my home region. It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride but I can honestly say I have thrived on it, put my heart and soul into it and tried to embrace it. I could not have survived the constant expectation and pressure that comes with the job without the support of my family and friends, many of our true supporters, and in particular the team management and the players.
“There are too many individuals to mention but I have been very fortunate to work with Welsh internationals, British Lions, Springbok and All Black legends of the game. The respect and response I have had from such players and coaches has been all I have needed to give me the drive and confidence to succeed. Lots of young Welsh players have passed through my tenure to the international ranks and I’m very proud of that as well as the trophies we have won and the special nights at the Liberty in particular. We’ve been the most successful Welsh region in so many disciplines through the first nine years and although regional rugby is going through tough, transitional times I feel I am leaving the rugby department in good shape with excellent young coaches and players.
“It’s going to be a very different way of life and a difficult one at first. I guess I’ve become part of the furniture! However that has also become part of the issue and I’ve done a lot of on field coaching as well as off-field work during this job. I have a young family to consider so it’s time I took a bit of a break from it and recharge myself.
“I am still only 41 and so I feel I’ve got a lot offer. I have learned a lot in my time here and achieved a lot too. I am now looking forward to exploring some new challenges and opportunities that have been presented to me and to enjoying the next part of my career.”
Mike Cuddy added:
“Sean remains on of the brightest young Welsh coaches operating within professional rugby. He has developed significantly in this environment, which is geared towards coach development. As a local boy he has taken great pride in representing his home region and can leave the organisation satisfied that he has done an outstanding job.
“We have no doubt that whatever challenge he moves on to, Sean will continue to thrive and enjoy great success, and we offer him our very best wishes for the future.”