Widnes prop Eamonn O’Carroll believes that the Vikings can make another significant step in their progress as a club in 2017.
O’Carroll believes that he is now part of a middle unit at the club which offers real power and punch, as well as depth, to Denis Betts for the season ahead.
He would like to think that the club has a good chance of doing better than last year’s seventh place, though he is refusing to set binding targets.
“One thing that we’ve done every year as a club is made little improvements and I think we’ve done that in the ‘middles’ now,” he said.
“We’ve got some good personnel there now and it’s good to be amongst those blokes and I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing alongside them.
“We haven’t really sat down and spoken about it as a group but it’s like an unwritten rule that you have to strive to make improvements and steps forward every year.
“We haven’t set a position that we’re aiming for, but we want to finish higher than 7th, and it will be a massive plus for us if we do that but it’s one I think we’re easily capable of.
“We’re confident in what we have at this club and what we’re trying to achieve. We have a few younger players in the team, but I think it’s an exciting time for the club as they’re all a year older now with another year of rugby under their belt.
“Take Tom Gilmore for example, it’s a chance for Gilly to step up now which I am confident he will. He’s sat patiently for his chance and he deserves a run in the team.
“It’s an exciting time for us as players as we take the next step on our journey as a team and I can’t wait to get back on the field with all the lads next year.”
O’Carroll does have a personal target for the year ahead, however, which is to play more games, after recent struggles with injury have limited his game time.
“Of course the aim for me is to consistently get on the pitch next year,” he said.
“I only played 15 games last year, which was frustrating as I thought I was doing okay. But I’ve had a nice break in the off-season, the body is feeling good and has been well looked after and my operation went really well.
“Hopefully I can get a good run at 2017 now as I want to play in every game for the club next season.”