Swinton Lions head coach John Duffy has pledged his future to the club by signing a two-year contract extension.
The 35-year-old former Scotland coach said he was “chuffed to bits” and “fully committed to the club’s new vision” to propel the Lions back up the league tables.
Swinton called him “a talented and motivated coach who shares the Board’s long term vision for the off-field growth of the club”.
Duffy, a former rugby league pro with Salford and Leigh Centurions, took the helm at Swinton in June last year after the departure of Ian Watson to join the coaching staff at Salford Red Devils.
He has recruited heavily, with the backing of the board, to put Swinton on a more stable footing than it has been in years.
In 2013 the club was on the brink of bankruptcy and poised to fall into the same trap as funds-hit Salford.
But a refocus on rugby and back-office partnerships have seen Swinton grow more resiliant, brushing off Salford chairman Marwan Koukash’s dilly-dallying with a potential Swinton stadium.
Duffy said: “We have a lot of hard work in front of us if we want to succeed, but we have a fantastic group of players and staff that are hungry and willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get there.
“We now have a defined player pathway, solid links with our community clubs, and a full time college course for our local talent that will start in September. In fact I would personally like to thank the Salford City College Sports Development Team for their fantastic work in fostering our partnership.
“Lastly I would like to thank the Board of Directors with whom I have a great relationship. They have backed me all the way and it’s great to work for a club which is so enthusiastic, honest, open and transparent.”
Under Duffy this season Swinton have already toppled records with their 86-4 Challenge Cup demolition of London Skolars.
Lions’ Chairman John Roddy stated: “The Board is absolutely delighted to have agreed a new two-year contract with John, including the provision for extensions thereafter.
“It is very clear that John is building a highly skilled and motivated squad, ably supported by a first class coaching and support team.
“The difference from where we are now and where we were at the back end of last season is massive.
“We are only a short way into the new campaign, but we have already had record breaking achievements and this is testament to John’s approach and preparation.”
Swinton’s bid to return to the Kingstone Press Championship begins against North Wales Crusaders on Friday 3 April.
Image: John Duffy at a Sedgley Park press conference (Pete Green)