Dynamic half-back Joe Lyons is staying put at the DCBL Stadium, having signed a two-year contract to remain in Vikings colours until the end of the 2025 season!
Nailing down a permanent starting spot in the halves this season, Lyons played 24 matches, including his 100th as a Chemic, and scored six tries in 2023 for his hometown club.
Reflecting on his 6th season as a Viking, Lyons acknowledged that, “I think my own form was up and down at times, a bit like the team. We targeted the play-offs but couldn’t get there in the end, which was a massive underachievement on our part.”
“I do think that I performed better during the second half of the season under Neil Belshaw’s guidance, and I want to do my bit for the lads going forward into next year.”
Lyons knows that the Chemics need to aim high in 2024; “This is a big, big club, and has to be fighting at the top. We’ve not made the play-offs since being relegated to the Championship, and having been here throughout that time it’s something we need to make right next season.”
“Personally, I just want to play my part as best I can, work hard to get plenty of game time and play consistently at a high level when I’m in the team. It’ll be my seventh year here and I hope it’s one in which we can start to realise our potential as a club.”
Having played several games this season alongside Tom Gilmore in the halves, Lyons is looking forward to cementing their partnership further: “You know what you’re going to get with Gilly – organisation all around the park. He’s a class player, and that allows me a bit more freedom to play off the cuff.”
“We’re great mates and spend a lot of time together both on and off the pitch, so hopefully playing alongside each other more often will help our game to develop.”
Incoming head coach Allan Coleman is also excited at the prospect of working with Joe, saying, “Joe is a player I’ve actually tried to sign a couple of times, and I can’t wait to work with him. I feel he has so much to offer this team.”
“If we see a very confident Joe Lyons who believes in his game and plays what he sees, we’ll be in a very good place. He’s worked alongside some quality halves, and that will help him to both shape his own game and help us on our journey back to where this club needs to be.”
We’re delighted to have Joe on board for the next two years, and looking forward to seeing the Widnes-born half take his game to new heights in the coming season!