Matt Whitley pens new long-term deal at Widnes

Matt Whitley has put pen to paper on a new three-year deal with Widnes Vikings.

The 22-year-old Academy product has cemented himself as a key player under Denis Betts at the Vikings after making his debut in 2015.

Individual accolades have followed the back-rower, who was shortlisted for the Albert Goldthorpe Rookie of the Year award in 2015 and the Super League Young Player of the Year award a year later.

His performance saw him linked with a move away from the Vikings, but he has put any speculation to bed having signed a new long-term contract.

“I am delighted that we have been able to secure someone of Matt’s quality for the coming three seasons,” said Betts.

“Matt has been outstanding since breaking into the first team and has established himself as a vital player.

“To commit someone of his quality and experience to a long-term deal, when there was interest elsewhere, is very positive for the club. He is finding his best form again and has made a real difference to the team this season. I am excited to see what he will bring to the team in the years ahead.”

Whitley added: “I’m made up to commit my future here. It’s great to sign a long-term deal and continue to do what I’ve been doing in the first team. I love playing here – we have a good set of lads and some exciting young players coming through. The coaches have been brilliant with me, from the academy team led by Phil Finney, right up to the first-team staff, so it was a no-brainer to sign this new deal.

“It’s been a brilliant start to the season for me personally, with the England Knights call up and now the new contract. The aim for this season is to continue to play well and help push us further up the table. I am excited by what we can achieve together in the coming years.”