Widnes Vikings to narrow down search for new head coach

Widnes Vikings will take the next step in their pursuit to appoint a new head coach this week.

The deadline for applications expires today (Monday), and the club is currently considering around 20 applications from both this country and overseas.

Tim Sheens left the Vikings unexpectedly earlier this month. As a result, the club began a prompt search for the next person to take the helm.

The club will assess its options this week before drawing up a shortlist and starting an interview process in the coming weeks.

“There have been surprising applications and some outstanding ones,” CEO Phil Finney said.

“We’re going to be doing the shortlisting tomorrow night and interviews the next couple of weeks.

“We’re trying to keep it as open as possible, Kieron Purtill didn’t have a great deal of experience as a head coach then the year after we had arguably one of the most successful coaches of all time but neither of those have worked for us or for them.

“We’re being nice and broad to see what comes out of it. This might sound basic this but the job is to make the players better individually and the team better collectively. That’s what we’re looking for in the constraints we are all working under.”

The club has made several high-profile signings for 2021 including Paul Clough and Matt Cook.

They add experience to a young squad that the successful candidate will inherit.

“We still believe it’s one of the biggest jobs out there, especially at Championship level. The facilities are fantastic and at this level we’re still well resourced, for somebody it’s a fantastic job.

“Given Tim’s stature everyone knows the job is available and we’ve been contacted by some agents.”