The club are happy to announce the retention of centre Max Roberts for the 2024 season, after the 23-year-old signed a new 1-year contract at the DCBL Stadium.
Making 14 appearances in a stop-start first season with the Vikings, the former Wigan, Oldham and Swinton player scored 5 tries in 2023, including braces in both the Vikings’ wins over Keighley and Newcastle.
And Roberts is ready to go again in 2024 having penned a 1-year extension at the club. “I picked up an injury against Oldham in pre-season so was out until round 11, but managed to put in a good run of games towards the back end of the season.”
He certainly did too, missing just one game between rounds 14 and 27, playing either centre, second-row or off the bench and scoring 5 tries. “My confidence grew after returning from injuries and I think that showed in my performances for the team.”
“I think playing in different positions will also play into my hands. I was mostly used at centre but enjoyed slotting in at second-row and 13 when necessary in games, so having that versatility is good for my chances of selection in the 2024 squad.”
Roberts is also looking forward to working with Allan Coleman, who he has quite the history with!
“I previously played under Allan at Swinton, and I’ve known him since I was 11-years-old! I played alongside his son as a junior at Blackbrook Royals and we’ve been great mates since. He played a big part in me going to Swinton in 2022 and I’m really happy to have him here.”
Coleman also can’t wait to coach Max again, saying “It’ll be great to reunite with Max this year, a player I respect so much. He goes unnoticed a lot of the time, but the work he does for his team-mates off the ball is phenomenal.”
He’s a tough, robust, team-player who I’ve known since he started playing 18 years ago, and coached him for about 10 of those years. He’s got a big season ahead of him.”
“Hopefully he can stay injury free in 2024, and if he does, I’ve no doubt that the Widnes fans will see first-hand how good a player Max Roberts is.”
With pre-season training ahead of the new campaign set to start in just days’ time, Roberts is excited at the chance to cement a place in the matchday 17. “My main personal goal is to nail down a starting spot as early as I can, and have a good run of form to help build on that.”
“Next season is about us rebuilding as a squad and growing with every game we play. The inconsistency last year really hurt us in the end, and with a target to make the play-offs as a minimum, I think we can build on the positives of last season to really develop as a team and get this club back to where it needs to be.”
With Roberts on board in 2024, the Vikings’ player retentions ahead of the new season are complete. There’s plenty more to come through the doors though, so keep an eye out for fresh faces joining Max and the rest in Allan Coleman’s squad, as preparations for the new campaign begin to really take off.