Widnes hand new deal to Betts

Denis Betts has signed a two-year extension as Widnes head coach.

Betts, 44, has been in charge of the Vikings since the start of the 2011 season in the Championship, and guided the Vikings to a 10th place finish in their second year in Super League.

He said: “I’m delighted to have signed a deal for another two years. I’m enjoying working at the club and with some excellent people. We are in a really strong situation. We have a very good Board of Directors, playing staff and fan base but there is still so much to do.

“We are making good progress but we won’t rest on our laurels. We are building a squad that over the next three or four years will compete at the very top and to get the opportunity to drive us forward for another two years is great for me personally.

“The goals we have set are achievable but we won’t put the club in a difficult position in terms of spending.

“Playing play-off Rugby League in October and making an impact at the latter stages of the Challenge Cup is not over reaching for us – we can get there and I will be doing everything in my power to achieve those aims.”

Betts, who won the Man of Steel award in 1995, collected a host of medals during his playing career with Wigan, and moved in to their coaching set-up at the end of 2001.

After a brief spell in temporary charge following the illness of Mike Gregory, Betts eventually left the Warriors at the end of 2005, before switching codes to take up a role with Gloucester Rugby union club.

He applied for the England job in March 2010, but lost out to Steve McNamara.

Widnes chief executive James Rule said: “I have been hugely impressed with the Performance Department that Denis has built and that he continues to evolve. He has a phenomenal work ethic and has the respect of everybody within our organisation.

“He has developed a fantastic blend of youth and experience within the playing group.  Naturally he has been integral in attracting and retaining established players such as Danny Tickle and Rhys Hanbury. However he has shown he is not afraid to give youth a chance with players such as Joe Mellor, Jack Owens and Adam Lawton, establishing themselves in the First Team.

“I and our Board of Directors look forward to working with Denis as we continue to drive the Club forward. We are excited about what we can achieve together at Widnes Vikings in the coming seasons.”

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