Fresh off the back of a successful season by their standards, the Warrington Wolves have made the decision to extend the contract of current coach Tony Smith, until the end of the 2015 ESL season.
Smith, who joined as coach of the club in 2009, has won three Challenge Cup titles at the club in 4 years, as well as helping the club make their first grand final appearance since the inception of the competition.
For Smith, he is excited at the opportunity given to him by the new deal, and looks forward to what lies ahead for the Warrington club.
“I’m excited about our future and I’m pleased with the progress that we’ve made so far in the time that I’ve been here, and I’m looking forward to hopefully progressing further,” said Smith.
“Working with the people I get to work with in these exciting times for the club and being part of it as we try to establish ourselves as one of the big teams in the competition excites me. I have a lot of respect for the people I’m working with and working for, so it was an easy decision to make.”
With the right mix and calibre of players in the side, Smith believes that the side’s depth will start to shine through over the next few years.
“We don’t have a lot of turnover, we’ve got some terrific young players coming through which is really exciting and I am expecting that they will take us to some new levels….I think there are some exciting guys coming through such as Ben Currie and Brad Dwyer who have already contributed, but I’m expecting them to come through even more and the likes of Rhys Evans, Ben Evans, James Laithwaite, Jordan Burke, Ryan Shaw, James Mendeika, Danny Bridge, James Saltonstall and Glenn Riley who are all going to be pushing for positions next year,” said Smith.
“There is depth within our squad and these young guys, who now have a year of full-time training under their belt – they will be much more prepared for the rigours of Super League.”
A reason behind the club’s continued successes, is attributed to the working environment and general culture at the club, according to Smith.
“I think it’s exciting times for the club, and we are reaping some rewards for the hard work we’re putting in. It’s a great environment to be working in both on and off the field. The culture of the club is getting stronger all the time and I think people recognise that and enjoy what they do….The culture within a club is crucial,” says Smith.
“Each club is unique in what’s needed to be successful and it’s up to me as a coach to adapt to that, whilst helping to instil some elements that will improve it. I’ve enjoyed what we’ve done so far and I look forward to the next few years. It’s nice to know that we are going to continue to grow as a club and as a team.”
With his new contract signed, Smith is looking forward to leading the Wolves towards more potential glory.
“We’ll be in there trying along with the 13 other teams. It’s all going to be a new year and you have to start again, but I think the fact that we didn’t quite finish it off will leave us with a lot of desire to go that step further if we can. We can’t take anything for granted,” said Smith.
“We will have to earn the right again and we’ll certainly do that in the pre-season and prepare ourselves the best we can for another good campaign next year.”