Well after 14 gruelling weeks of pre-season it's finally time to get down to business. I think if you ask any player, pre-season is a great chance to work on all the bits of your game that need improving, get fitter, faster and stronger but mentally it can be very draining. The fact that competitive games are so far away and your pushing your body to almost complete exhaustion day after day can sometimes have an effect on your enthusiasm, but once the game in week 1 arrives all the agony and pain you've gone through seem very worthwhile.
This season will be my 11th as a Super League player and the start of a new journey, not just for me but the Widnes club as a whole. After 7 years out of Super League, Widnes are back where they belong in the big time. To be a part of the quest to help get them back to the top of the game is very exciting, the club are going in the right direction and after spending my first pre-season with the club the long term future of the club appears in good hands, both on and off the field.
Steve O'Connor is the man behind the revival of the club and you only have to have a two minute conversation with him to see the passion he has, not only for the team, but for the Widnes area as a whole. On the field the attitude and commitment of some of the younger boys has really impressed me, they seem to have the hunger and desire to succeed and go far in the game. Anthony Mullally and Danny Craven are just two examples of this and I can assure Widnes fans that there are many more lining up to follow suit.
Finally to Friday night's game, it seems a long time in coming but the excitement and anticipation is growing amongst the boys. As I said earlier we've been looking forward to this for a long time and the buzz in the town is great. I'm sure Wakefield will be coming over very confident after thrashing rivals Castleford last week but hopefully we can combat that and come out on top. No Super League game is ever easy and we're expecting a very tough game, but with the Widnes fans and the Hattons Solicitors competition winners behind us, hopefully we'll be celebrating being back in the big time with two Super League points #COYV
(Photograph courtesty of KT8 Photography)
Written by Shaun Briscoe: Hattons Solicitors Sponsored Widnes Vikings Player for the 2012 Season
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