John Kear turned down union and agent roles for Widnes job

John Kear

John Kear has revealed he turned down job offers from rugby union, league and as a player agent in order to become head coach at Widnes Vikings.

The veteran coach starts his new job next week, with the 67-year old insisting his love for the sport meant he had no thoughts of retirement following his departure from Bradford Bulls.

John Kear on the Love Rugby League podcast

“I think it’s down to your outlook on life,” he says of his longevity in the game, speaking exclusively on this week’s Love Rugby League podcast.

“You have to have positive things in your life and there was something that excited me about Widnes. 

“I’ve been really fortunate that people have contacted me about various roles, a player agent contacted me to see if I’d be interested to go into that side of it. I had a rugby union club contact me of see if I’d be interested in doing the defence. And two or three rugby league clubs. 

“But the one that really appealed was Widnes, the facilities are excellent, there’s a great fan base and the thing I really liked was that I honestly believe they have underachieved this year. I think i can get the best out of individuals and the group and that will be my immediate aim.”

Kear on Widnes job

Kear says he plans to meet every Vikings player individually when he starts in the job, with one eye already on next season.

“I will sit down with each player and point out exactly what I want. Often the best thing to do is strip it bare and make it very simple indeed and make the roles easy to understand so people can execute those roles,” he says.

“I’ve watched every game except two of Widnes’ and it looked against York like they had forgotten how to win. There was a lack of composure and naivety.  Instilling confidence and self belief takes some doing but I will make it as simple as possible.

“Then in the off season it’s to grow that player group through recruitment and retention. It’s a fair old task but one I’m going to relish. 2023 is when I think you are really going to have to put your best foot forward both on and off the field to play at the highest level that you can.”

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