Widnes winger Ollie Brookes has penned a new 1-year deal at the club, keeping him with the Vikings for the 2024 season!
An injury-disrupted 2023 campaign saw him restricted to just eight appearances, but Brookes still crossed for a respectable six tries and is looking to build on those strong bursts of form in 2024.
“I did my hamstring right at the start of the year and then my ankle towards the back end, so it was hard to really get going and secure a permanent place in the team. I always want to play as much as I can, and when I got a run of games towards the back end of the season, I think I performed pretty well.”
Reflecting on the season as a whole, Brookes acknowledged that “As a team it was disappointing, we never achieved what we’d set out to do at the start of the year. We came into some good form in the final few months which helped to build my confidence coming back from the injuries, but fell short of reaching the play-offs.”
Looking ahead to 2024 with his injury woes behind him, Brookes his keen to cement his place in the 17 week-in, week-out. “That’s my main goal for the year, just to be playing often and playing well. I want to be starting every game and will work hard on and off the field to achieve that.”
The style of play implemented by new head coach Allan Coleman is also a positive for Brookes, who says “for a winger, there’s nothing that beats scoring tries, and playing an expansive style under Allan will hopefully give us front-foot ball and plenty of chances to throw it around.”
Allan is looking forward to working with the pacy outside back too, saying “I think everyone knows Ollie is a quality player, and when he got his chance last year, he was too good to be pushed out of the team.”
“He carries hard and fast, knows the game really well, and always makes smart reads of play in both attack and defence. He always seems to find his front in the tackle, and having that speed of play-the-ball will be so important to the game we’re trying to play.”
With pre-season just a few weeks away, Brookes is ready and raring to go for 2024. “This year needs to be the one where we finally realise our potential as a club. Reaching the play-offs is non-negotiable, and we want to get there by playing attacking rugby and scoring plenty of points.”
“For me personally, I want 2024 to be my best year yet in the Widnes shirt, playing more games than ever before, and finishing off more tries than ever before.”
We can’t wait to see Ollie tearing up and down the flanks in 2024, and are delighted to have him on board for the new season!