VIKINGS CEO and Director James Rule has today called on the supporters of the Club to get behind the players after their phenomenal start to the First Utility Super League campaign.
Head Coach Denis Betts and his players have landed four wins from five games, including victories against last year’s League Leaders Shield winners Huddersfield Giants, big spending Salford Red Devils and most impressively a ‘nilling’ of Hull FC in the own back yard – a feat the Vikings have not achieved since 1995 when the club toppled Workington Town.
The buzz around the Club and the town reached new heights following the 7-0 victory (over Hull FC) and Rule paid tribute to the Vikings heroes.
He said: “I am immensely proud of the effort that our players and coaching staff are putting in to the Vikings on a weekly basis. I am sure that every one of our supporters, who has witnessed the phenomenal performances this season, will share that sense of pride that comes with being associated with such commitment, passion and effort.
“We recognise that we have a long season ahead and we will not become arrogant or get ahead of ourselves. That being been said, it would be wrong if we didn’t take a brief moment to reflect on the achievements of our players and coaching team.
“If we cast our eyes back to the end of last season, we have now gone on a run of form that includes victories over Warrington, Hull KR, London, Huddersfield, Hull as well as Salford twice, making it 7 wins in our last 8 games.”
The Vikings, who now boast the second best defence in First Utility Super League, face Bradford Bulls this Sunday at The Select Security Stadium and Rule is urging fans to back Betts and his players as the Club makes massive strides in the competition.
Rule said: “Now is a time for us to build on the fantastic foundations our team are laying on the pitch, and our supporters are laying off the field. Our support this year has been fantastic, and has really lifted the players to deliver these epic performances.
“However, the simple fact remains that we do still need to grow our attendances. Without some growth in attendance, we will not be able to invest further into our club and achieve our key strategic objective of being able spend to the maximum salary cap alongside the majority of our competitors. Until we do that we are not competing on a level playing field, which makes our recent achievements all the more remarkable.”
Rule believes there are still supporters who may be deciding whether or not they should come back to support their club after witnessing the glory years of the Cup Kings era and Widnes’ finest hour in 1989 when Kurt Sorensen lifted the World Club Challenge Trophy, but what more can Betts and his players do to entice them back as the Vikings sit pretty in fourth position in the table?
Rule laid down the challenge to the people of Halton.
He said: “The Widnes Vikings have a rich heritage, stretching back to 1875. I know that there will be a number of supporters who perhaps have drifted away from the club in recent years during our time outside of Super League or having been for a while due to factors like family commitments or work pressures.
“I would urge anybody who hasn’t encountered a Widnes Vikings match day to come and support us this Sunday as we take on Bradford Bulls, as you are sure to be entertained. My appeal to all of our existing supporters who have witnessed some of the phenomenal victories highlighted above is to talk to your colleagues at work, to your friends when you’re socialising, and to your family members to find just one person you can bring Bradford game in your circle as a result of your recommendation.
“If everybody did that, we would practically sell-out The Select Security Stadium. The players are literally running through walls for this club, I sincerely hope that this will be the catalyst to trigger a level of support on the terraces that takes us to the next level. The message we would like to pass on is simple: come along and take pride in your local team, representing your town. Supporting the Vikings is affordable, compared to many other sports, is family friendly and one thing that is for certain – fans will be exposed to a fantastic atmosphere at The Select Security Stadium.
“Naturally, we cannot guarantee that we will win every game, but what we can guarantee is pride, commitment and effort every time each and every one of our players pulls on our famous shirt. We hope that inspires our supporters to fill the stands which in turn will further inspire our players to greater efforts.”