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New signing O'Carroll could play against Castleford
12:46am Monday 2nd July 2012 in Vikings news
Widnes Vikings have bolstered their playing roster with the signing of Eamon O’Carroll from Hull FC.
The 25-year-old has agreed terms on a deal which sees him join the club until the end of the 2014 Super League campaign.
Widely recognised for his appetite in both defence and attack, Eamon, who will wear squad number 36 for the Vikings, trained with his new team-mates for the first time today (Fri 29) and if selected, could feature for Denis Betts’ team for the home visit of Castleford Tigers on Monday 2 July.
Oldham-born O’Carroll progressed through the academy ranks at Wigan before staking a claim as a first-team regular from 2006, going on to score 3 tries in 61 Super League appearances for the Warriors. He remained with the cherry and whites until the end of the 2011 season before embarking on a three-year deal with Hull FC, where he made 10 appearances in 2012 before his move to the Stobart Stadium.
Aside of his domestic appearances, the front-rower, who is the Vikings’ second new signing for 2013 following the recent acquisition of Kevin Brown from Huddersfield Giants, has also featured on the international stage, representing Ireland at the World Cup in 2008, playing all three matches of their campaign in Australia.
Widnes’ first season back in the top flight has certainly been a testing one on the team-selection front for Denis Betts, and the Vikings Head Coach is delighted to strengthen his armour and welcome the powerful forward on board; “We’re really fortunate to have secured Eamon, not only for the rest of this season but the following two as well. This affords him ample opportunity to get used to our systems and the way we go about our business here at Widnes, which will hopefully bring out the best in him.
“He is a fantastic player who never gives less that 100% on the pitch. We actually tried hard to bring him to the Stobart Stadium before his move to Hull FC, but unfortunately we entered the party a little too late and the deal was already in the bag.
“Eamon comes with a fantastic Super League pedigree, lots of experience and a great deal of ambition and at 25 years of age, he is determined to put a stamp on the game. He is dynamic and something of a throwback as a front rower really, given his height and great footwork.
“His arrival will create a bit of competition in our forward pack towards the end of this year, which is always a good thing and we’re thankful he’s chosen to spend his foreseeable future in a Vikings shirt.”
Pleased to be renewing acquaintances with Betts, O’Carroll added; “I’m really looking forward to working with Denis. I was only in the Academy at Wigan Warriors when he was Head Coach at the club, but he used to host quite a few sessions for the younger players and I remember those days well. The same applies for Dave Banks who was another of my coaches at Wigan, and it will be nice to work with him again, too.
“I had a few offers from elsewhere and normally I wouldn’t have entertained the opportunity of joining a club part-way through the season but as soon as Widnes came in for me, I jumped at the chance and I was keen to put pen to paper as quickly as possible.
“Before signing the contract, I spoke at length with Paul Cullen and he brought me right up to speed with the club's plans. What he had to say excited me and I definitely want to be a part of the future here at Widnes. Alongside playing the game, I’m also a big rugby league fan in general and I’ve been keeping an eye on Widnes’ results all season and apart from the odd slip-up, it’s clear to see they are moving in the right direction and striving to improve all the time.
“To be honest, when I arrived for training today, it should’ve felt like my first day at a brand new school, but knowing so many of the boys already really helped me settle in. As first impressions go, I was blown away with the set-up and the facilities in place at the club.
“My body feels good, I’m feeling fit and ready to go and I’m looking forward to pulling on a Vikings shirt and getting out there on the pitch and playing. I’m well aware I’ll have to work hard to secure a place in the team.
"I’ve got no right to just turn-up and expect to be offered a place immediately, when there are lads all around me who have been doing a job all year. Having said that, if I am selected, being thrown straight in at the deep-end against Castleford on Monday night is something I will relish, especially with the game being at home and in front of the Widnes fans.”