Denis Betts keen to return to coaching after breaking silence on Widnes sacking

Former Widnes coach Denis Betts admits he is eager to return to coaching following a short break from the game – and reiterated his belief that he would have been able to keep the Vikings in Super League last season.

Betts oversaw a period of relative success for the most part of his time at Widnes, helping establish the Vikings as a solid Super League club before he was sacked by the club last season following eight seasons in charge at the club.

However, the former Great Britain forward told League Express that his departure from Widnes has not soured his appetite to return to coaching.

“I’m looking for a job again,” he said. 

“I’m waiting around to start coaching again. I’m looking for opportunities, but I decided when I left Widnes that after eight years non-stop – including going to a World Cup with England – it was time for a break.”

Betts also admitted that despite the Vikings struggling at the bottom of the table when he left the club in May, he felt he could have done enough to get them over the line to survival.

“We sold our best player two years ago, had a lack of investment and while we had a fantastic group of young kids there, they didn’t have enough hair on their chest yet,” he said. 

“It’s easy for me to say of course, but do I stand here and believe I would have kept Widnes up? It’s very easy again but I believe I would have been able to do that. 

“But the club needs massive injections of cash moving forward. I took a bit of time to think about what I wanted to do next when I left Widnes, but I know I want to coach and I want to get back involved.”

Betts continued: “Leaving a club is the nature of the beast. If you can coach a side like Widnes for eight years, get them in the top eight and give them the best finish they’ve had in 20 years, you’re doing okay. 

“But a lack of investment really hurt a club like Widnes, and that’s why you’ve got to admire clubs like Wakefield and Salford who do it on a really tight budget. 

“However, clubs like that are only four or five injuries away from being in real trouble, and that’s what we had to contend with for a sustained period.”