Betts Announces New Look Performance Team

Betts Announces New Look Performance Team

20th October 2017

Widnes Vikings Head Coach, Denis Betts, has shared his plans for a new look Performance Team, as the Vikings build for the 2018 Betfred Super League season.

 “One of the exciting things for this season is the opportunity to strengthen and improve in key areas”, Denis explains.

“We’ve looked closely at how we can do things differently and better next year. Key to this are our plans to restructure and enhance our Performance Department.”

With the introduction of a new Strength and Conditioning team, a closer alignment between the medical and conditioning teams, investment in performance analysis, as well as the appointment of new coaching personnel, the Vikings are set for a big pre-season.

The first stage of this plan was announced last month, with the appointment of Francis Cummins as Assistant Coach.

 “I’ve been delighted to welcome Francis to our team”, Denis says.

“Francis has great experience as a player and a coach, and has already started to bring some fresh ideas. Both Mick (Cassidy) and I are really looking forward to working alongside him this season.”

That appointment has been supported by the addition of Eamon O’Carroll as a Performance Coach, working alongside the first team and Academy staff. In addition to his coaching responsibilities at senior and youth levels, Eamon will also provide welfare support to Academy players.

O’Carroll, who represented Widnes Vikings, Wigan Warriors and Hull FC in a twelve-year career in professional Rugby League, expressed his determination to forge a role in coaching following his retirement from playing this year. As a respected and experienced leader on the pitch, O’Carroll will be looking to bring these qualities to the fore in his new coaching role.  

“Eamon has lots to offer to the sport, so I’m really pleased that we have been able to secure his services in this new role. Eamon always gave 100% as a player, and I’m sure he will do the same in this next chapter of his career.

“He has just finished his playing career and is hungry to now succeed in coaching. Since retiring, he’s already been getting stuck in to working with the performance team and we’ve enjoyed his fresh perspective.”

The Vikings will also be attacking the 2018 season with a new Strength and Conditioning Team, with Tim Holmes partnering with Adam Daniels. The pair will be aligning closely with Peter Talbot, Head of Sports Science and Medicines, to support player rehabilitation and overall health.

Tim Holmes will be familiar to many supporters, both as a former player and a key member of the Club’s backroom staff for seven years. Holmes, who has a degree in Sports and Exercise Science, has incredibly rich experience in sports coaching and science. He will continue to lead on first team Player Welfare.

Tim will be teaming up with Adam Daniels, the Vikings new Performance Analyst and First Team Strength and Conditioning Coach. Daniels, who has an MSC in Strength and Conditioning, has held previous roles in the Sports Science Department at St Helens RFC and as Head of Strength and Conditioning at North West Crusaders. Adam is participating in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in his role as Head of Strength and Conditioning for Wales Rugby League, which he has held for three years.

 “Tim’s life is fitness, so this role is a natural step for him. To have him working in tandem with Peter Talbot and Adam Daniels to support our players to get fitter, faster and stronger, and ultimately to stay healthy, is really exciting. He’s got some fantastic ideas and a real hunger to succeed in this role.”

“Adam Daniels is also someone with great passion, quality and experience to offer in Strength and Conditioning. We’ve worked hard to secure someone in a full-time analysis role, and I’m pleased that Adam will be supporting us with this. His analysis will drive improved performance through reviewing conditioning sessions and first team action.”

The greater integration between the medical and coaching teams is something that Denis is relishing.

“Peter Talbot will be looking at how we can keep our players on the field, enhancing their rehab and finding ways to minimise the occurrence of injuries. He will be supported by Matt Fairbanks, who is taking on a fulltime GPS analysis role. Matt joined us towards the end of last year in an internship from University of Chester. He will monitor player output, giving us data that will help us understand how we can keep our players fit and at peak performance.”

Excitingly for Denis, these changes bring together a mix of fresh outside perspectives and progression for talented staff who have a proven track-record of contributing to the Vikings.

“It’s been great to have Francis join us, bringing his experiences from different environments. But we’ve also created new opportunities for some very skilled and passionate people within our existing team. They are all relishing the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and contribute to the growth of our Club.”

“Culturally, that’s important because they know what is expected of them. It also shows our strength in developing our own talent, not just in playing roles but also in coaching and back-room positions too. We have an ethos of working hard to improve ourselves, so it is great to see people who step up and want to make us better gaining new opportunities.”

This transformation of the Performance Department is just one part of the plans for 2018, with the Vikings looking to add to their signings of St. George Illawarra Dragons star, Will Matthews, and Sam Wilde from Warrington Wolves.

Denis explains, “Recruitment is key and a massive part of our plans for next year.”

“We’re targeting a number of players and are continuing to look closely at people who can add quality to the team. The Rugby League World Cup is just around the corner and being involved in that with England gives me the opportunity to explore the talent featuring in the tournament.”

“I’m excited by the plans we are building for next season.”

Be there to back the boys in 2018 - join the Viking Stronghold! 

Widnes Vikings are offering their best ever value Viking Stronghold Membership packages for 2018.

People who sign up for Membership before the 25th October can spread the cost of their early bird Membership with discounted 4.9% finance (regular rate 10%). At a price per game of just £13.33 for renewing adult Members, £14.66 for new adult Members, £5.33 for renewing Junior Members, and £6 for new Junior Members, 2018 Members can watch all the action at an incredible price.

Don’t miss out on enjoying all the 2018 Betfred Super League season action, as well as the exclusive suite of Club and community discounts.  

To sign up, visit the Vikings Superstore, Tesco Extra, or call the ticket line on 0151 495 2250 (option 2) to sign up for your 2018 Stronghold Membership.

Vikings Superstore Opening Hours.

  • Monday:            9am - 5pm
  • Tuesday:           11am - 7pm
  • Wednesday:       11am - 7pm
  • Thursday:          11am - 7pm 
  • Friday:               11am - 7pm 
  • Saturday:           9am - 5pm
  • Sunday:             11am - 5pm

Click here for full information on Stronghold Membership packages, prices and benefits

Betts Announces New Look Performance Team