18th October 2018, 14:49 | Widnes
Widnes Vikings can confirm the departures of first team players Matt Whitley, Joe Mellor and Gil Dudson.
James Rule, CEO of Widnes Vikings, says: “There is no doubting the commitment and efforts of these players during their years of service at the club.
“Matt was one of the cohort of players under the age of 22 that the club approached prior to the end of last season offering to honour their Super League contracts irrespective of the division we were playing in next season. However, Matt has informed us of his desire to stay in Super League next season and leaves with our best wishes.
“Joe and Gil have also notified the club that they wish to leave the Vikings and embark on the next chapter of their careers. We thank both of them for their contributions to the Club and wish them the best of luck in their future careers.”
While Danny Craven has committed his future to Widnes.
Craven has been with the Vikings since the age of 17, having graduated from the club’s academy into the first team.
Danny has 101 appearances to his name in Widnes colours, scoring 35 tries, and amassing over 220 points.
🗣 "The club stuck by me through the years that I’ve been here, and I believe now is the time for me to do the same.”— Widnes Vikings (@WidnesRL) October 18, 2018
As revealed exclusively to Stronghold Members, @dannycraven21 commits his future to the Vikings!
👉🏼 https://t.co/OucdDUUBKj pic.twitter.com/93GDlJiLXl
Danny Craven says: “With the club being relegated, there were opportunities that came up elsewhere to take a look at. But I’ve been here for nine years now, and I didn’t want my future to be anywhere else but at Widnes.
“The club has given me an opportunity to fulfil an ambition I had as a kid to play in Super League. The club stuck by me through the years that I’ve been here, and I believe now is the time for me to do the same.”
“Over the years, I’ve had chances to move elsewhere but I honestly couldn’t see myself playing for anyone else. Widnes has become a huge part of mine and my family’s life, and there are people inside the club that have always been great with me, so now it’s my turn to re-pay that faith.
“We’ve risen up to Super League before from this league, and this is just another bump in the road we need to go through together and I’m confident we can do it with the squad that we’re building for next year.”