Widnes Vikings have handed young winger Owen Buckley his first professional contract.
The 18-year-old is the latest product of the club’s Academy to sign a full-time deal with the club after agreeing on a two-year contract.
Buckley has yet to make a competitive first-grade appearance for the club but scored in pre-season wins over Warrington and Whitehaven.
“Signing a first team professional contract is something that I’ve wanted to achieve for ages, so I am made up to sign this deal,” he said.
“To take this next step in my career feels amazing.
“Being around the likes of Pat Ah Van and Stef Marsh, who are two experienced players, has benefitted my development. I have been able to learn from them, taking things from their game and implementing it into mine.
“I’ve always watched Widnes growing up, so to make that step up into the first team setup now is great. The ambition is to make myself a starter in the Widnes team in the future.”
Denis Betts added: “Owen has been training with the first team squad for the majority of this season. He has impressed the coaching staff massively since making the step up, including his showings in the pre-season games this year.
“He is a player with huge potential and quality, and I look forward to seeing how he progresses in our first team squad.”