DEWSBURY RAMS chairman Mark Sawyer says that he hopes to have a new head coach appointed by the end of October.
Neil Kelly stood down for personal reasons at the end of the 2018 campaign, and Sawyer says that there have been more than 40 applications for the role.
The process of interviewing candidates began on Wednesday, with more to be seen today (Friday).
Sawyer says the applicants are of “good quality, and a good spread of types as well.”
He added that there is “a combination of existing coaches within the game, some who have been coaches before but aren’t with a club at the moment, new coaches who’ve been working their way up and want to have a go at the Championship, and some Australian applicants.”
The chairman believes that the Rams need to have their man in place by the end of the month.
“That’s absolutely essential because there’s a pre-season, and there’s also new players (needed) so the sooner the better.
“It’s obviously still going to take a few days as we’ve only started to interview from (Wednesday), but we’ve got to this position as quickly as we could, wanting to get somebody in the job.”
Outgoing coach Kelly departs after a year and a half in his latest spell with the Rams, steering them clear of relegation in 2017 before backing that up with another eighth-placed finish this term.
Sawyer says that he understands the personal reasons for Kelly’s departure, saying that “anybody would have done the same.”
He added: “He’s done a great job for us. When he first came, a lot of people didn’t give us any chance of staying up, and this year he’s got us back into eighth position.
“So we’ve got to look back and say he’s done a decent job for us.”
Kelly did have some doubts about the future resources the club would have to work with, claiming last week that the “tight budget” meant “there’s a possibility that Dewsbury might not have a great year.”
However, Sawyer claims that the budget for next season will be around the same as it was for 2018.
“What he was probably talking about was the fact that if we hadn’t finished in the top eight, the budget would have fallen further, because as everyone’s aware it’s determined by your finish position,” he said.
“But he managed to secure that eighth position, so our budget is virtually identical to last year.”
He says that that should be the case despite the expansion of the Championship to 14 teams next season, as well as the move towards more equal funding between the clubs.
The new structure “meant that we were having to give some of our money back to the other two teams who come in, who obviously have to spend a little bit more,” he explained.
“But the distribution is going to be slightly flattened out compared to before, so we’re hoping that we finish up with somewhere near the same amount of distribution as we did last year.”