14th August 2020, 16:17 | Widnes
Widnes Vikings have confirmed that half-back Matty Smith has signed a new one-year deal with the club ahead of the 2021 Betfred Championship season.
The former England international joined Widnes at the start of 2020 and featured in six of Widnes’ seven fixtures before the curtailment of the season.
Smith – who has racked up over 200 appearances in the Betfred Super League – has won four major trophies and was named as the 2013 Lance Todd Trophy winner for his Player of the Match performance in Wigan Warriors’ 2013 Challenge Cup Final victory over Hull FC.
Speaking on his contract extension, Smith said: “When the club decided they wanted to take up the option of keeping me for next year as well I said yes straight away.
“It was a no-brainer. When I first signed for Widnes, I wanted to be back home. Being at the club previously it made it an easy option for me.
“I’m enjoying my time at Widnes at the minute, although it being limited with what is going on. It’s a good club with some good lads in the squad and I’m just really enjoying my rugby again.
“The last few years have been tough for me with the injuries I had, and then moving away to Catalans away from my family and friends was probably not what I needed at the time.
“Coming back home and signing for Widnes, I knew it was a good club because of my time there before. I knew some of the fans and the players, I knew the facilities and the set-up was great and then having Tim Sheens as the head coach I knew the quality he would bring.
“The start we got off to this season was pretty good and the team was starting to gel. We were attacking really well, we obviously needed to tighten up a bit in defence, but I felt like we were going to gradually get better as a team each game.
“The first sense I got for the level of support we have at Widnes was at Oldham in the first game of the season. The away support was unbelievable. We felt like the fans were right on top of us, and then when we won the game and went over to them at the end of the game to hear them chanting and signing, that’s what you play for.
“You play for those kinds of moment, and we can’t wait for more of the same. I’m sure the fans have missed it as much as the players have and they will be wanting to get back to watching us play, so we’re looking forward to being back.”
Smith’s contract extension is the latest in a busy few weeks of business for the Vikings which has seen the additions of Matt Cook and Lee Jewitt for the 2021 season as well as new contracts for a handful of players including Deon Cross and Jake Spedding.