Widnes Vikings are delighted to welcome Wales international winger Mike Butt to the club, who arrives from Swinton Lions on a 1-year contract!
The outside back has played his entire career with Swinton, making his debut as a 20-year-old in 2015 and being an ever-present for the Lions in the 9 seasons since.
However, after scoring over 100 tries in over 150 league appearances for the Greater Manchester club, Butt is heading for pastures new at Widnes alongside incoming head coach Allan Coleman.
Reflecting on the year just gone, Butt said, “It’s been a tough season in a really competitive Championship. We started off well before injuries began to cost us, but in the end we stayed up and did what we needed to do.”
“I’ve been on a real journey at Swinton”, says the four-capped Welshman, “experiencing plenty of ups and downs with a promotion or relegation battle nearly every season. I do feel the time is right to move on though, and I’ve achieved everything I could’ve wanted to there.”
“I spoke with Allan prior to coming to Widnes and felt it was too good an opportunity to turn town. We’re aiming much higher now and I need to put the work in to earn the respect of both the players and fans. I earnt it in 9 years at Swinton and plan on doing the same here.”
Reuniting with Coleman and assistant coach Tom Wood was a key factor in Mike signing for the club. “I’ve got a very good relationship with Allan and that played a massive part in me coming here. He always wants to get the best out of players and isn’t scared to make the tough decisions needed to get that.”
Those factors are reciprocal for Coleman too, who said to Vikings Media: “Butty is a player who I’ve worked with for 4 years now, and someone who’ll quickly become a fans’ favourite. His standards on and off the field are second to none.”
“He has a fantastic work ethic and knows where the line is, having scored over 100 tries for Swinton. Being a Welsh international in the World Cup last year, I know he’s hungry for more and I can’t wait to see him in Widnes colours.”
Joining Wales internationals Matty Fozard, Ant Walker and fellow new arrival Rhodri Lloyd at the club, Butt is looking forward to the fight for places in the team. “I’ve obviously played with a few of the Welsh Widnes boys before in some big games, but that doesn’t mean much when you’re battling them for a spot!”
Looking ahead to 2024, Butt’s goals for the season show just how hard he’s willing to work to make an impact for the Vikings. “I want to earn the respect of the players, and have far more focus on that than any kind of personal goals.”
“There’s plenty of hard graft ahead for us, and I’ll bring plenty of that as well as the high standards I’ve set myself throughout my career. I can’t wait to get into pre-season with the boys, and get working towards where we need to be next year.”
We’re chuffed to have Mike on board for next year, and look forward to welcoming him into the side as the 2024 squad continues to take shape!