New Widnes signing Kevin Brown is confident the Vikings will be competitive in 2013.
Brown, 27, surprised many when he opted to make the switch from then high-flying Huddersfield to the Stobart Stadium for next season, with Widnes paying a fee to secure the services of the Giants captain on a four-year deal, which was announced back in May.
The former Wigan stand-off saw his Huddersfield season cut short through injury, but is expecting to be fit for the start of pre-season.
Widnes finished bottom of Super League, but only after a much improved second half of the season which saw them finish their first season back in the top flight with six wins, finishing level on points with Castleford.
Brown told the club’s official website: “I’ve had my eye on things at Widnes and I was impressed with how the team turned its fortunes around at the back end of the season and looked a completely different side to the one that started the year and was on the wrong end of a few hidings.
“Players were aware that Widnes were starting to find a bit of form but to be completely honest, there was still a fair bit of disrespect shown when I signed for the club.
“A lot of people were questioning the reasons behind my choice but many of them are completely unaware of the ambition and aspirations of Widnes Vikings and what is going on behind the scenes.
“On the pitch, turning over some of the top eight teams last season certainly helped things and there is definitely a respect starting to grow for the club and people are now seeing Widnes as a competitive force in the competition.
“Having said that, I’m in no doubt that some people will still probably have us down to be the whipping boys next year, but I don’t think there is one person within this organisation who goes along with that way of thinking. We haven’t spoken about goals for 2013 yet, but I’m confident we will be competitive all year round.”
Brown made 70 appearances for hometown club Wigan before joining Huddersfield in 2006.
He went on to score 51 tries in 172 appearances with the Giants, helping to turn them from a bottom half team in to play-off regulars.
So far, he is the only new face to be announced at Widnes for 2013.