Whilst maintaining a strong focus on the present, the Vikings also have a keen interest in their future playing roster, and today the Club are pleased to announce that first team regulars; Steve Pickersgill and Phil Joseph have signed extended contracts until the end of the 2015 season.
Steve Pickersgill initially joined the Club on loan in May 2009 from near-neighbours Warrington Wolves, before earning himself a permanent deal ahead of the 2010 season.
Steve’s powerful presence in the front row was instrumental in Widnes’ Northern Rail Cup triumph in 2009. Not only was this a great achievement for the Vikings, it was also his first appearance in a major Cup Final and a game that rewarded him a winner's medal for his efforts.
Pickersgill displayed a high level of consistency on his and the Club’s return to Super League in 2012 and as a result, the former England Academy player was given the number 10 squad number for the 2013 season. The 27 year-old has featured on 4 occasions thus far for the Vikings in Super League XVIII.
Now aged 28, Huddersfield-born Phil Joseph boasts a wealth of experience at both domestic and International level (with Wales). He made his first team bow with his home town Club in 2004 and went on to spend time at Swinton, Hull KR, Halifax, Oldham and Bradford before linking-up with the Vikings as a trialist in October 2012.
Determined to make the required impression on Head Coach Denis Betts and his coaching team at Widnes, he endured the intense pre-season schedule and first donned a Vikings shirt in the traditional Boxing Day Challenge game versus Warrington Wolves. Soon after, he took up the offer of a one-year contract at the Club.
Phil has made 7 Super League appearances for the Vikings to date.
Phil Joseph and Steve Pickersgill share a tenacious appetite for defence and attack and having secured the services of the blockbusting duo on a long-term basis, a delighted Denis Betts commented; “These signings show the stability we are trying to add within our squad.
“Steve Pickersgill has proved his worth to the team on a number of occasions and for a while he’s just been on one year deals at the club. I believe the timing is now right to give him some stability and help him to advance his career further. He has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years which is a real credit to how hard he works, and it was my pleasure to offer him a deal. In doing so, it now gives the coaching staff an opportunity to extend the amount of time that we will be able to work with him, and we are confident he will continue this progression for a longer period of his career.
“Exactly the same applies with Phil Joseph. I’ve also been really pleased with his contributions in the relatively short time he has been with us.
“Phil adds both value and also ‘something different’ to our first team squad, and the exciting thing is there’s so much more still to come, hence the reason for offering him a contract for another couple of years.”