THE winds of change are about to blow through The Halliwell Jones Stadium once again.

The countdown clock has officially started the Steve Price era at Warrington Wolves after the head coach confirmed his fourth season in charge would be his last.

> Steve Price to leave his role as Warrington Wolves head coach

On a purely human level, it is a decision the vast majority would understand.

Price has a young family – he was joined in the move over from Australia by wife Sheridyn and daughters Sienna, Savannah and Sharni – who will not have seen wider relations for several years.

Steve Price with his three daughters. Picture by Mike Boden

Steve Price with his three daughters. Picture by Mike Boden

Given everything going on in the world at the moment, plus the fact his contract with the club was due to expire in November, the call of home will rarely have sounded louder.

While Price’s reasons are completely understandable, the timing of the announcement – with the team on the verge of embarking on a new season – may surprise a few.

It is not a strategy that comes without risk and it is something Warrington as a club have history with, albeit in much darker times.

When Darryl Van der Velde announced his impending departure mid-season in 2001, things unravelled pretty quickly in terms of performance.

Granted, that was just another happening in a truly chaotic year, but could the knowledge that their coach is in his last season regardless of how well they do cause motivational issues for the players?

On the flip side of that, Price has now worked with the vast majority of this squad for at least three years.

He will be the best judge of how they will react to news such as this and if he sees fit to reveal it, he must not consider it a serious potential issue.

Besides, the challenge is now on for players to make themselves indispensable to whomever might be next in the hot seat.

With the decision already made and out in the open, Price’s mind should be clear and able to fully focus on making sure his final season with The Wire is a successful one while the club now has all the time in the world to source and recruit a replacement.

There are plenty among the Warrington fanbase who believe Price should not have the opportunity to end his association with the club on his terms, given the underwhelming finishes to the past two Super League campaigns.

For them, his legacy for his tenure will already be set as which had the potential to be great but often flattered to deceive.

Whatever your opinion of him, though, what cannot be argued is that Price is a man who has embraced the community and those within it in a way he did not have to do.

On the field, he masterminded one of the most memorable days in the club’s recent history – the 2019 Challenge Cup Final win over a heavily-favoured St Helens side – and he may yet be the coach that brings the Super League title to Warrington for the first time.

Steve Price lifts the Challenge Cup in 2019. Picture by Mike Boden

Steve Price lifts the Challenge Cup in 2019. Picture by Mike Boden

Plenty will scoff at that thought, but it would be the one sure-fire way of making sure his name is remembered in this town for generations to come.

Can he do it? Time will tell, but this last season will truly determine what his legacy at Warrington Wolves will be.