Vikings chairman looks ahead

Widnes chairman Steve O’Connor is looking ahead to 2010 after the Vikings’ disappointing play-off exit to Featherstone last week.

O’Connor, who took over the club in November 2008, replaced coach Steve McCormack with Paul Cullen in the opening month of the season, and the former Warrington boss guided Widnes to a second Northern Rail Cup triumph in three years in July.

But despite being heavily fancied to win the league pre-season, the best Widnes could do was 4th place, and they were bundled out of the play-offs at home to Featherstone 32-24 last weekend.

However, the NRC win means Widnes can apply for a Super League licence in 2012 and O’Connor is determined there won’t be a repeat of the disappointing day in 2008 when Widnes were not given a place in the game’s elite for 2009.

He said: “We want to earn the right to be in Super League by being the best club outside of it, on all levels from our rugby to our matchday experience.

“We want to add value to the community, develop a wining culture and if we don’t have six or seven fine young Widnes athletes in our team by 2012 then our investment in youth development will have been a huge failure.

“Winning the Northern Rail Cup and seeing the Stobart Stadium Halton packed for the Challenge Cup Semi Final has really whet my appetite for success, and one day I hope that people will have to wait for over half an hour to get out of the car park for Widnes games!”

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