Kieron Purtill has been confirmed as recently-relegated Widnes Vikings’ new head coach, the club have announced today.
The former Leigh Centurions helmsman boasts a sixteen year coaching career and, as well as an impressive but ultimately unsuccessful run of fifteen wins in the nineteen matches he oversaw as the Centurions head coach led to the team narrowly missing out on a spot in The Qualifiers, 41-year-old Purtill also has experience as assistant coach at St Helens and Huddersfield Giants. A highly rated individual, it could be suggested that he would still be at Leigh had they not suffered financial difficulties after failing to achieve a top four finish and, as a result, Purtill now finds himself at the Vikings.
In his first exchange with the media following his appointment, Purtill spoke of his excitement at working with the young talent in the Widnes squad. “It is a huge honour to take on this position at such an illustrious club. To have a successful team, you need players who have honesty and a strong work ethic, coupled with talent – I know that this will certainly be the case with the squad at Widnes Vikings,” he explained. Furthermore, he added that, while the club are reeling from a relegation after a poor couple of seasons, there is cause for optimism at the club. “Whilst the Vikings are experiencing the challenges of relegation, I believe that we will see many positives come from this difficult moment. This is an opportunity to make a fresh start” he noted.