Despite already being contracted until the end of the 2014 season, the Vikings are today delighted to announce that exciting young half-back Joe Mellor has signed an upgraded two-year extension and will remain at the Club until the end of the 2016 season.
Since making his debut in Vikings’ colours back in April 2011, Joe has made 54 appearances and crossed the line on 25 occasions. The 22 year-old continues to prove on a weekly basis that he is blessed with bags of quality and an ability to open up defences with his quick thinking and electric pace.
Attributes such as these have made him a genuine fans’ favourite amongst the Vikings faithful, and Widnes’ Head Coach Denis Betts, said that he is thrilled to have secured the services of one of the Club’s prize assets for a much longer period, stating:
“Joe is living proof of somebody who has made the most of an opportunity that was offered to him. Over the last couple of years, he has gone on to prove himself as a high-end Super League player, who also has a genuine aspiration to be a high-end player on the International stage.
“Initially, he joined us from Wigan ‘on loan’ because he realised that he needed a lot more game-time and a chance to make something of himself. From day one, he’s made the most of what was in front of him and come out of the other side, all the better for it.
“He is an extremely hard worker and he brings an immense amount of qualities to the group. He’s very exciting with the ball, his kicking game is improving vastly year on year, he’s as tough as teak defensively, very strong and plays far above his weight. Overall, he is a quality person too and it is great that he will be a part of our squad for the long-term.”
Joe Mellor commented: “I’m really happy here at Widnes and even though I still had another year to go on my contract, I was really pleased to extend it for another two years after that.
“Time has really flown by since I first came to the club in 2011 and if I can get as much enjoyment out of the next three years, as I have the first couple, then I’ll be even happier.
“From a personal point of view, scoring a hat-trick at Etihad Stadium during this year’s Magic Weekend event is probably the highlight of my Widnes career so far, even though I ended up on the losing side that day. From a team perspective, as soon as Denis (Betts) told me that Kevin Brown was coming to the club, I was made up and to be honest, it was one of the major reasons that I signed a contract myself. I was already aware of how good a player he was and I was excited by the prospect of playing alongside him. Kev has helped my game massively and our partnership came on leaps and bounds and grew as the season progressed. Hopefully this will kick-on even further over the next few years.
“Our first year back in Super League was always going to be tough, especially with the amount of new signings the club made, but last year I reckon that we were a bit unlucky with some of our results. By the same token, we also came away with a few other results that not many people thought we would have.
“With all of the changes due to happen in the game, we’re well aware that it’s going to be tough in 2014. After the season we’ve just had, there’s a belief within the group that we can go from strength to strength. Our aim is definitely the ‘Top 8’ and we’re confident of achieving that.”