Eamon O’Carroll is looking forward to an injury-free year with Widnes Vikings and insists that the Club is about to embark on an exciting period in 2017.
The 29-year old is currently undergoing his fifth pre-season with the Club following his move from Hull FC in June 2012.
His time with the Vikings has been a frustrating one with injuries cutting short his time on the field, but O’Carroll believes that he can hit the ground running when the new season comes around.
“Of course the aim for me is to consistently get on the pitch next year,” he said.
“I only played 15 games last year, which was frustrating as I thought I was doing okay. But I’ve had a nice break in the off-season, the body is feeling good and has been well looked after and my operation went really well.
“Hopefully I can get a good run at 2017 now as I want to play in every game for the Club next season.”
O’Carroll and the rest of the Vikings are still in the middle of their pre-season schedule, and have returned to training following their recent 28-18 defeat to Warrington Wolves in the Festive Derby on 27th December.
Despite the defeat, O’Carroll says the standard in this pre-season is one that can stand the Club in good stead in the coming months when the Betfred Super League season gets underway.
“It’s been really tough, as they always are, but it’s been great for me to get myself back fit and into shape,” he said.
“The boys have ripped in during the early stages and it feels like we’ve stepped up a level from previous years, so hopefully we will be hitting the ground running in January as the new season isn’t too far away now.”
O’Carroll has played in every season since the Club’s return to Super League in 2012, and has witnessed first hand the improvements the Club has made every year.
Therefore, with this in mind, the front rower believes the team can do the same in 2017 and that the Club is embarking on a new exciting era.
“One thing that we’ve done every year as a Club is made little improvements and I think we’ve done that in the ‘middles’ now,” he said.
“We’ve got some good personnel there now and it’s good to be amongst those blokes and I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing alongside them.
“We haven’t really sat down and spoken about it as a group but it’s like an unwritten rule that you have to strive to make improvements and steps forward every year.
“We haven’t set a position that we’re aiming for, but we want to finish higher than 7th, and it will be a massive plus for us if we do that but it’s one I think we’re easily capable of.
“We’re confident in what we have at this Club and what we’re trying to achieve. We have a few younger players in the team, but I think it’s an exciting time for the Club as they’re all a year older now with another year of rugby under their belt.
“Take Tom Gilmore for example, it’s a chance for Gilly to step up now which I am confident he will. He’s sat patiently for his chance and he deserves a run in the team.
“It’s an exciting time for us as players as we take the next step on our journey as a team and I can’t wait to get back on the field with all the lads next year.”