The Vikings have continued their recruitment for the 2014 Super League season, by signing Hull FC prop forward Paul Johnson on a one-year contract.
The 25-year-old has made over 60 Super League appearances since making his debut for St Helens in 2010. A year later he moved to Wakefield, where he was subsequently named ‘Player of the Year’ before signing for Hull FC ahead of the 2013 season. Now a fully fledged Viking, Paul will join up with fellow new recruits Danny Tickle, Danny Galea and Liam Carberry at The Select Security Stadium in 2014. This is something that has certainly whetted his appetite, as he admits: “I’m delighted and this is a really good move for me to go to Widnes, and I really can't wait to get started, meet all of the lads and get back into the swing of things.
“I've heard plenty of good things about the club and they're making a lot of progress in the Super League. It’s a great opportunity for me to get back to where I know I should be and being a local lad, I'm confident that moving back home will show itself in my performances and this is something that played a massive part in my decision to join.
“Before signing, I was invited down to have a look around the place and I was blown away at how impressive the whole set-up. There's a strong belief about working hard for each other, and as a player who has always been a big believer in this, hopefully I can make a big impact, impress the coaching staff and my team-mates, and earn myself a place each week. The priority after that will be earning the respect of the Widnes fans.
“I’d like to think that I’m a 100% player who gives it his all and everything he’s got, whether that’s in training or during a game, and hopefully I can bring that to Widnes. They've already got a great team here and with the extra bodies that they've brought on board for 2014, things are looking really promising and hopefully we can build on last year’s 10th place and climb even further up the table.”
Pleased to have added another quality player to his 2014 roster, Vikings Head Coach Denis Betts, said: “Paul will add a lot of depth to our squad and create a bit more competition within the group, which is always a good thing. He’s a lad from the St. Helens area and a really talented player who has been involved in the top flight for a good few years now and he will certainly make our pool of players much more solid.
“As an out and out front-rower, his work ethic, ability and no-nonsense approach make him the person that he is. There were certain times last year when we were missing those character traits, and his inclusion will certainly go a long way towards steering us in the right direction.
“We believe that he’s picked a good time to join the club and by the same token, we also reckon that it’s a good time for us to have brought him here. Paul is at the age now where he’s keen to kick-on with his career and hopefully, we’ll get to see the best of him in a Widnes shirt.”