MAGPIES TURMOIL: Coach walks out on Lower Clarence
RUGBY LEAGUE: Lower Clarence Magpies are facing a turbulent start to the 2018 season after the club officially parted ways with coach Evan Cochrane.
A former Newcastle Knights first grade premiership-winner, Cochrane came on with the club last year and began pre-season training before Christmas.
But it is understood the coach and the club have been on rocky ground in recent weeks, with Cochrane unhappy with a lack of commitment from players.
Lower Clarence was forced to pull out of the Coffs Nines last month due to a lack of numbers and were caught short of players against the Coffs Harbour Comets in a trial at Yamba less than a fortnight ago.
Cochrane was not at the club's season launch at the Maclean Hotel on Saturday night, and Magpies president Bruce Howard confirmed the club had parted ways with the coach on Tuesday morning.
"Unfortunately we have parted ways (with Cochrane)," Howard said. "But we appreciate the time and effort that he has put into the club over the preseason and wish him all the best.
"At this point in time the club and myself will not be making any further comment."
It was a tough blow for the Magpies who have built one of the club's best roster of players since their premiership-winning run in 2009.
Add the explosiveness of young stars Kyle Roberts and Eathan Kapeen who will only develop this season and things were beginning to look up for the Lower Clarence side.
With just over two weeks to the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League season, the timing of the announcement could not be worse for the proud Lower Clarence club.