Fed-up Rowark steps down

JIM Rowark has resigned as Kowloon coach because of what he says is a lack of commitment from the players.

The former national coach, who led Kowloon to a Knockout Cup triumph last year and moulded them into genuine league title contenders this season, said he was no longer prepared to give up his time for a team he feels show insufficient commitment.

Rowark's resignation letter has already been accepted by Kowloon chairman Bob Lind.

Rowark said the final straw was just before the Lunar New Year when he was due to conduct a coaching session for the Kowloon players with the assistant Scottish coach David Johnston.

''Only 15 people turned up for it,'' said Rowark. ''And only seven of the first team. I simply felt that I was not prepared to put in the time and effort if the players were not prepared to do the same.

''I am a fairly busy man and generally, I'm happy to do it, if others are prepared as well.'' Kowloon started the season as one of the favourites for the league title, which was eventually won by Valley - but not before Kowloon squandered a good chance for a final push for the title.

The two teams were on course for a title-deciding clash before Kowloon were unexpectedly beaten by British Forces. They were eventually beaten by Valley.

Kowloon skipper Chris North said he understood Rowark's decision.

''All I can do is thank Jim for his efforts,'' said North.

''It is sad and hopefully we can pick ourselves up from this setback. It must have been difficult for Jim, soon after training the national side where the commitment is much better than club teams.

''I know other clubs have this problem and it is difficult for players to give more commitment to the game and rugby than is feasibly possible.'' Kowloon will be without a coach for today's First Division match against Hong Kong Football Club, at Club.

But North said: ''We have a few old heads in our team. Although there is nothing to play for, we really want to beat Club.''