WIDNES Vikings have appointed Grant Gore as Academy Head Coach.

Gore has a decade-long association with Widnes Vikings, as both a player and coach.

Last season, he served as Assistant to the previous Academy Head Coach, Brett Hodgson.

In this position, he proved himself to be a talented, insightful and highly-respected member of the Vikings backroom team.

As a player, Grant progressed from Widnes Vikings Academy, which he joined at the age of 16, through to representing the club in the Super League.

Having made his senior debut in 2011, he went on to make almost 100 senior appearances for Widnes Vikings, Whitehaven, North Wales Crusaders, Workington Town and Swinton Lions.

Alongside this full-time role at the Vikings, Grant is currently studying for a Sports Science Degree at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Phil Finney, Widnes Vikings’ Head of Youth Performance, said: “Grant has real talent as a coach, and importantly understands the vision for our youth system. Having been involved with the Vikings since the age of 16, making the journey from the Academy and into the first team squad, Grant has a real affinity with this Club.

"He understands the standards that we expect and what we are building here.”

“Grant has proven his abilities by assisting Brett Hodgson and the trust that we have placed in him is well deserved.

"Grant has not only been appointed for his skill, but also his experience and ability to relate with our young players.

"He has been part of our system and experienced things that our players will encounter as they progress, whether that’s reaching the Super League squad or having to deal with some difficult challenges.

“Grant has a genuine interest in improving our players and contributing to our system, and we have seen him as the likely successor to Brett for some time.

"I am sure that he will grab this opportunity with both hands and build an exciting future as a coach.”

Grant Gore says: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to progress my coaching career with this exciting new role. Coaching young players is my passion, so it is a privilege to be able to take on this position in a club that I love. I have grown up here and it means everything to be able to support the progress of Widnes Vikings.

“We have some very talented players and a great system here, so it is exciting to be able to play my part in supporting our players to fulfil their potential.

"Because of the experiences I’ve gained as a player, like going on loan, facing injuries and representing the first team, I can relate with the journey our boys are on and the effort they need to put in.

"Above all, I know the hard work, commitment and professionalism that this Club demands, and will be working hard to instil this the boys.

I’m grateful for the faith that Phil Finney has placed in me and I am looking forward to the season ahead.”