WIDNES Vikings' newly appointed head coach says he is the man to turn the club's fortunes around on the field.

Allan Coleman, 47, will take up the post on a two-year deal in October after his season's commitments end with Swinton Lions, where he currently holds the head coach role.

He replaces John Kear, whose time with the club came to an end in June and one of his assistants, Neil Belshaw, continues to take charge of affairs in the interim.

Vikings currently sit seventh in the Championships with 10 wins from 20 games and are on a three-match winning run, following a five-game losing streak.

”Widnes is a club with a great history and there have been some fantastic coaches fortunate enough to lead the club and I feel now is the right time for myself and Widnes to go on a journey we can be proud of," said Coleman, who hails from Leigh.

”Looking from afar it has not quite worked the last few years for the Vikings and that’s something I feel confident I can change.

"It is going to take a lot of hard work, but that is something that I thrive on.

"Speaking with Chris Hamilton (head of operations) and listening to his vision for the club it was a no brainer.

"I want to be, and will be, the coach that changes the club’s fortunes and take them back to where they belong.”

Coleman started his coaching career at Leigh Miners Rangers under 18s, then had a spell as coach of Leigh Centurions (as they were then) Reserves, before taking over as head coach of the open-age side at Leigh Miners Rangers from 2012-2016.

During that spell, Rangers won the Challenge Trophy three times, the Steve Prescott Trophy twice, League Leaders' Shield, they were National Conference League Grand Finalists twice, winning it once.

Coleman was NCL Coach of the Year twice also during that period.

He then had a successful period as head coach of Tyldesley Rugby Union from 2017-2019 where his team completed a league and cup double.

He was then appointed as assistant coach at Swinton Lions from 2019-2021 before being promoted to head coach during the 2021 season.

Although the Lions were relegated at the end of that season, Coleman oversaw their immediate return to the Championship the season after, as Grand Final winners.

Swinton are currently second from bottom of the Championship with six wins from 20 matches, with one of those victories against Widnes coming the day before Kear's time at the DCBL Stadium was ended.

Coleman also has extensive international coaching experience.

He has been head coach of England Community Lions for a tour to South Africa, under 23s England Community Lions at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, he has coached the under 19s England Community Lions as both winners and runners up in the European Championships and is currently the director of coaching for the England Community Lions programme, overseeing open age, under 23s, under 19s, under 16s, college, universities and women’s coaches/staff.

Hamilton said: ”As a club, we were clear in what we wanted in the new coach.

"We want to change the performance on the field so that Widnes Vikings are not seen as underachievers.

"That, of course, is easier said than done, but we strongly feel that, in Allan, we have a coach that has the drive, ambition and desire, that myself, the board, the players and the fans all have to succeed.

"From the first time we met, what struck us was Allan’s motivation for wanting the job and what he feels he can achieve here.

"He has served a true rugby league apprenticeship with his various coaching positions and has seen life at most levels of the community and professional game.

"No doubt that has stood him in good stead previously, and we, as a club, also hope to benefit from that moving forward. We hope that everybody will get behind Allan to help us achieve our goals."

Although Coleman will continue at Swinton until the end of the season, he will be working with the Vikings on player recruitment and retention during that time.

Hamilton added: ”We are grateful to Steve Wild and Damian Ridpath at Swinton for them releasing Allan and wish them well in trying to stay in the Championship this season.

"The board and I want to thank Neil Belshaw for the sterling work he has done so far, since taking over as interim head coach.

"The change in performances has been there for all to see and long may it continue.

"Neil is an important part of our coaching team moving forward, something that I have made him aware of since he took over.

"He will have our full support in the remaining games as we seek to secure a play-off spot."

Vikings are away to Newcastle Thunder on Saturday.