Owen Buckley becomes the latest off the Widnes production line to sign first-team deal

Widnes have handed a first full-time contract to young winger Owen Buckley, who has signed a two-year deal.

Buckley, 18, is another product of the Vikings academy, that has already provided 14 players to have made a first-team appearance this season.

Coach Denis Betts said: “Owen has been training with the first team squad for the majority of this season.

“He has impressed the coaching staff massively since making the step up, including his showings in the pre-season games this year.

“He is a player with huge potential and quality, and I look forward to seeing how he progresses in our first team squad.”

Buckley played his community rugby at West Bank Bears and Halton Farnworth Hornets, and played for Widnes in pre-season games against Warrington and Whitehaven, scoring tries in each.

He said: “Signing a first team professional contract is something that I’ve wanted to achieve for ages, so I am made up to sign this deal. To take this next step in my career feels amazing.

“Being around the likes of Pat Ah Van and Stef Marsh, who are two experienced players, has benefitted my development. I have been able to learn from them, taking things from their game and implementing it into mine.

“I’ve always watched Widnes growing up, so to make that step up into the first team setup now is great. The ambition is to make myself a starter in the Widnes team in the future.”

Products of the Widnes academy have 68 appearances between them so far in 2018.

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