Buckley praises Development Squad

Buckley praises Development Squad widnesvikings.co.uk

10th August 2018

Owen Buckley paid tribute to the Widnes Vikings Development Squad last night, as he entertained Hospitality guests in the C&C Karalius Suite.

The Widnes-born winger recently broke into the first-team and made his debut, following a string of impressive performances for the Club’s under 19’s side.

Buckley’s fortunes could have been much different though, if it wasn’t for the Development Squad spotting his talent.

“I always wanted to play rugby league for my home town, but when I wasn’t selected for the service area squad I thought my dream was over,” he commented.

“If it wasn’t for the Development Squad I probably wouldn’t have been able to achieve that dream, as they saw some potential in me.”

The 19-year-old made his first-team bow away to Hull FC back in June, marking the occasion with a try from a Joe Mellor bomb.

Buckley revealed the emotions leading up to the game, and how getting his hands on the ball early on helped to settle the nerves.

“I was absolutely bricking it,” he said. “Once I arrived at the ground that feeling started to disappear, and I knew that if I got through some work early on I’d be okay.

“For some reason, I decided to run straight at Micky Paea with my first carry and came off second best. It helped me settle though, and I became more confident the longer the game went on.”

He crossed for his first Vikings try on the stroke of half-time, plucking Mellor’s kick out of the air and racing in for a six-pointer.

Buckley also scored a brace at home to Hull Kingston Rovers two weeks later with both efforts coming from cross-field kicks, and he revealed to the Hospitality guests how it felt to cross the whitewash.

“To score on my debut was an incredible feeling,” he continued.

“It was a good blind-side play from Joe and thankfully I was able to beat my opposite man and get over the line.

“Scoring a few weeks later in front of the home fans was special too, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to force my way back into the side and help the team be successful in the coming weeks.”  

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Buckley praises Development Squad widnesvikings.co.uk