Simon Grix ‘given time to build’ by permanent head coach deal at Halifax

SIMON GRIX claimed the Halifax head coach role on a permanent basis and then outlined his ambition to lead his hometown club back into Super League.

Simon Grix, centre, has been given a two-and-a-half year deal as head coach of Halifax.

Having won four games on the trot since replacing Richard Marshall on an interim basis, Grix was handed a two-and-a-half year deal at The Shay yesterday.

Assistant player-coach under Marshall, he is still only 33 but has quickly proved his credentials with the Championship club.

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“Is it a bit early in my career to be a head coach? Maybe it is,” said the former Warrington back-row.

“But I’ve had two years as an assistant, been around some good environments as a player and until someone gives you an opportunity to be a head coach you can’t get that experience, can you?

“I’ve said before that I feel I’m ready and the length of the contract gives us time to build something, to put things in place.

“The last month or so has been good; we have worked hard as a group and we have changed some things that have improved us.

“I know, and the players know, we are still a way off where we want to be, but we’ve made some progress.”

Part-time Halifax had reached the top four in three of the last four years under Marshall and Grix wants to go a step further with a club who have been out of Super League since 2003.

Local players are at the root of his plan and he said: “It can’t be a flash in the pan – it needs to be sustainable – but that’s the long-term goal.

“I want to see more local players playing for the club, that’s important; I know Shaun Wane believed that at Wigan, for example, and he went a long way towards achieving that.

“We want some of those young lads that currently go to Super League clubs to come here and maybe some of the experienced players come back too.

“I think it’s difficult to chase the Championship title with a part-time team now, so the first objective is to work towards a position where you can have a full-time team.

“When you’ve done that the next step beyond that is to start thinking about Super League.

“A lot comes down to money, especially with the expansion teams coming in. But I’d like to think it’s still possible; I hope the people involved at the club would think it’s possible as well.”

Huddersfield Giants second-row Dale Ferguson has joined Featherstone Rovers on a month’s loan.

The Scotland international, 31, has yet to play this season following injury, but will start his comeback with the Championship club.

England international Stefan Ratchford faces three months out of action after the Warrington Wolves full-back tore a pectoral muscle in Saturday’s defeat against Hull.