Matty Smith finding himself to be a player-coach at Widnes

Drew Darbyshire

Matty Smith has found himself being a coach as well as a player at his new club Widnes.

The 32-year-old has dropped down from a full-time environment with Catalans in Super League to being part-time with the Vikings in the Championship for 2020.

Smith has made no secret that wants to go in to coaching after his playing career – but he has already found himself being a mentor to Widnes’ younger players.

He said: “The balance of the squad is good. There are some really exciting young lads coming through but there are also a few experienced heads like myself and Logan (Tomkins).

“I’ve won things in my career and been at the top end of Super League if you like but this is a different challenge for me now.

“I’m coming to that point of my career now where I am turning towards that side of the game and I enjoy coaching.

“I’ll help Joey (Lyons) out in any way I can. He’s got all the talent there and I really think he can play Super League one day if he keeps his head down. He’s a humble lad, he’s down to earth and he listens. He’s got his feet firmly on the ground and I’ll help him out wherever I can.”

Smith has revealed that new Widnes coach Tim Sheens was a big factor of why he decided to link up with the Chemics.

He added: “As soon as I spoke to Tim, he sold the club to me and having been at the club before, I’m familiar with the club and the history behind it.

“The club is local for me as well, I live in St Helens so I jumped at the chance to sign here and I’ve enjoyed the last four or five weeks.

“The Championship is very physical and I’m looking forward to playing in it. It is a bit different going from full-time to part-time and I’m still getting used to that but I’ve got a lot of time on my hands at the minute and I’m enjoying life.

“I can’t wait for the season to get started and hopefully we can start off on a good note.”

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