Widnes Vikings announce four-man leadership group for 2017

Widnes Vikings head coach Denis Betts has announced that the club will be led by a four-player leadership group in the upcoming Super League season.

Following the departure of former skipper Kevin Brown to Warrington, the club will now be led by new co-captains Chris Houston and Joe Mellor – and they will be supported by Aaron Heremaia and Tom Gilmore as vice-captains.

Betts gave his players and coaches the opportunity to nominate players who they felt had the inspirational leadership qualities to lead the club to success in 2017 and the four selected players led the vote and were unanimously supported by coaches.

“Widnes Vikings has strong leadership qualities across the team, so I canvassed the views of our players and coaches in making this decision,” Betts said. I am delighted that the club will be led in 2017 by our leadership group of Chris and Joe, supported by Tom and Aaron.”

“The leadership group has great character, lots of understanding and are inspirational in their actions. We have a fantastic team of players who want to work hard, enjoy being here and aspire for success. I’m excited for the season ahead.”

Mellor said: “It’s an honour to be named as one of the four leaders for the upcoming season. I’m very proud to have been selected for this role by the coaches and my teammates. We know what it will mean to the town if we can bring greater success to the club and that is something that really motivates us all.”

“I’m delighted to have been named as one of the co-captains for the upcoming season with Joe,” Houston added. “I have been involved in leadership roles throughout my career and I am looking forward to building on this experience at Widnes Vikings. I want to lead by example – playing and training well, and always giving it my all. The club has some outstanding young players and I’m looking forward to supporting them.”

“It is a privilege to be part of this leadership group,” Heremaia said. “Tom, Joe and Chris are well respected amongst our players and coaches, so I can’t wait to hit the field with them this season. We are a close-knit team and I am sure that together we can push the club in the right direction.”

Gilmore added: “As a Widnes local and someone who has grown up in this club, I’m proud to take on this role. Being a half-back, I need to be a leader on the pitch, so it is natural for me to lead and be vocal. This is an exciting time and I can’t wait for the season ahead.”