Anthony Gelling Signs For 2019

Anthony Gelling Signs For 2019

4th July 2018

As revealed exclusively to 2018 Viking Stronghold Members, Widnes Vikings have signed the Grand Final and World Club Challenge winning centre, Anthony Gelling, on a two-year deal. Gelling will link up with the Vikings for the start of the 2019 season, moving from the NRL side, New Zealand Warriors. 

The deal, for a player who established himself as one of the Super League’s leading performers, demonstrates the club’s ambition – bringing an experienced leader to feature alongside the Vikings' burgeoning young talent.

The charismatic centre is renowned on these shores for his six-season spell with Wigan Warriors between 2012 and 2017, where he scored 52 tries in 115 games. He went on to become a cult figure with players, staff and supporters alike for his blistering performances on the field, as well as his infectious character off it. 

With appearances in two Grand Finals, a Challenge Cup Final and a World Club Challenge victory under his belt, Anthony brings proven quality and experience at the highest level of the game. The Cook Islands international will add leadership, unpredictability, and skill to the Vikings’ backline, whilst displaying an eye for the try-line with an almost 1-in-2 record during his career in the sport.

Gelling has impressed in his recent performances for New Zealand Warriors, scoring a try in his most recent appearance for them last weekend, against Cronulla Sharks.

Anthony has already gained the respect of Vikings supporters, having attended several Vikings fixtures during his time in the Super League and celebrated the club in a personal blog at the start of this season. In the article, Anthony said that he has “always kept one eye out for the black and white army.” 

Francis Cummins, Interim Head Coach of Widnes Vikings, says: “Anthony is a tremendous signing for the club. We’ve been working really hard to find a calibre of player who will enhance our team, and I believe that Anthony is that type of player. Anthony has been one of our top targets, as we have planned for next season, and James Rule has been in regular conversation with him over the past couple of months to help make this deal happen.

“Anthony has an ‘X Factor’ about him, with the ability to produce something out of nothing in a way that few others in the modern game can replicate. Players of his quality are few and far between, and we are excited that he will be representing our club.

"Clearly Widnes Vikings have experienced challenges this season, but we are planning for a brighter future. This team has genuine potential for the seasons ahead and having had opportunity to sign for several other leading clubs, it is satisfying to know that Anthony strongly believes in what we are building here.

"A signing like this sends a message out on many levels, and tells everybody that we’re not willing to accept the current situation we’re in. We will be looking to bring further quality into the team for the coming season, and key to this is the ongoing backing and investment of our Members and supporters. As a club, both on and off the field, we are stronger for their support, so thank you to everyone who is giving their continued backing to the team.”

Anthony Gelling says: “I’m delighted to be joining Widnes Vikings. Looking at the talent at the club, their players who have re-signed, and the young lads who are coming through, I believe that the Vikings have real potential for the seasons ahead.

"Before signing this deal, I spoke in length to James Rule. He shared the club’s vision for the coming seasons and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be part of this.

"Widnes Vikings have had a tough season this year, but I know that we can turn this around. I am looking forward to linking up with the boys next year in 2019 and to making a difference to the side.

"I know from experience that the Vikings have brilliant supporters and I can’t wait to get out in front of them next year. I’m grateful to everyone that continues to get behind the boys this year and look forward to wearing black and white next season.”

James Rule, CEO of Widnes Vikings, says: “Anthony is a fantastic signing for this club and a real signal of intent for what we want to achieve in the coming seasons. There is no doubt about the quality that he offers and the impact that he can make on the team. Having spoken to him on several occasions in recent months, as we have finalised this deal, it’s been genuinely exciting to hear Anthony talk about his belief in the potential of this squad and his aspirations to help the Vikings progress.

"He has seen our established players, like Gil Dudson and Matt Whitley, and our emerging young talent, like Danny Walker, Brad Walker and Owen Farnworth, all commit for the seasons ahead and believes in the foundations being set here. Anthony has plenty to offer to this squad, both on and off the field, and will enrich our team. I’d like to thank everyone who backs the team, through Membership and investing in what we do, who are vital in making opportunities like this possible.”

Anthony Gelling Signs For 2019