HEAD coach Steve McCormack has extended his contract at Widnes Vikings after talks with club chairman Steve O’Connor.
McCormack, who will coach Scotland at this year’s World Cup in Australia, has committed to the club for 2009 to offset their disappointment at missing out on a Super League licence.
He was reappointed coach of the Vikings in early November, almost immediately after O’Connor assumed control of the club.
The coach had left the previous month, with a view to becoming assistant at Hull KR, when the Vikings went into administration
O’Connor said: “Steve has done extremely well in very difficult circumstances this year.
“He was the natural choice to appoint as head coach when I took over the club as he had twice taken Widnes Vikings within touching distance of reaching Super League in previous seasons.
“My view has not altered - Steve’s still very much the right man for the job.
“Faced with the nine-point penalty for going into administration and having so little time to form a squad this season, Steve’s still managed to create a competitive team. “He’s put strong foundations in place to build upon and I’m confident he can ensure Vikings are the most successful team in Co-operative National League One.”
McCormack said: “I’m delighted to be staying at Widnes. Of course, missing out on Super League has been a massive disappointment for everyone concerned at Vikings but exciting things are happening here and I want to be a part of it.
“Steve O’Connor’s commitment and drive are there for all to see.
“He’s as keen as anyone to see Widnes Vikings win trophies and eventually compete in Super League. I’m confident I can continue to build a successful team to make those dreams come true.”
McCormack added: “Our youth policy will still be central to Vikings’ development in the future but we are also keen to secure experienced players that our youngsters can learn from.
“We’ve probably used more young players under the age of 21 in the first team this season than any other club in National League or Super League.
“All those players will have benefited enormously from that experience and will be even better players next season. “However, at the moment we are still on course to secure a top-six finish this season to reach the National League play-offs and that remains our top priority.”