St Helens boss Kristian Woolf issues latest comment on future amid NRL links

Kristian Woolf, St HelensKristian Woolf, St Helens
Kristian Woolf, St Helens | Getty Images
The 47-year-old Australian has been keeping his future plans close to his chest.

Decision day is just around the corner for Saints’ much-sought head coach Kristian Woolf.

The 47-year-old Australian has been keeping his future plans close to his chest since media speculation first hinted that he was set to go home and join an NRL club.

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At Wednesday’s press conference ahead of this week’s clash with Hull KR he gave a clear indication his answer was imminent.

When asked for the umpeenth time in recent weeks if he was ready to make his final decision public, he declared: "Not quite just yet, but it’s not too far off."

Interpret it in any way you want but St Helens fans are waiting with bated-breath to hear the outcome after being kept on tenterhooks for several months now wondering whether the Queenslander - who has been at the club since 2020 - plans to return to his native country at the end of the current season, or extend his contract further at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

The club doesn’t want him to depart and who can blame them after the success he has brought since landing on our shores?

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He is probably on a par with fellow Aussie Daniel Anderson as the best-ever Saints Super League coach in an era when other impressive bosses included Ian Millward, Nathan Brown and Justin Holbrook.

But all Woolf’s focus at this moment in time will be centred on overturning Hull KR at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday night (kick-off 8pm) and ensuring two more points are in the bag as the club sets its sights on lifting the League Leaders’ Shield in a few weeks’ time and then going on to win a record-breaking fourth successive Grand Final victory.

⭕ Bill Jelley, who I knew well from his days as a Saints’ director many years ago, has died at the age of 89.

He was founder of timber and builders’ merchants ST Group (formerly Sutton Timber) and together with his daughter, Alison, established Qualplas - a PVCu window and door manufacturer now located in Knowsley Road.

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Bill was a rugby league lover and it was no surprise when he spent eight years on the Saints’ board in the pre-Eamonn McManus era, bringing his business acumen on board before resigning on April 6, 1999.

A long-standing member of St Helens Rotary Club, he was a keen fundraiser and initiated his company’s long-term involvement with the National Children’s Charity.

Bill, who is survived by his wife, Dorothy, daughter, three grandsons  and a great granddaughter, will be laid to rest at a funeral service which takes place at St Helens Crematorium on Wednesday, August 24 (10am).

There will be family flowers only but donations can be made in aid of the Salvation Army.

A Saints’ spokesperson said everyone at the club sends their condolences to Bill’s family at this sad time.

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