So we’ve finished the season now, not in the way we wanted to at all but that’s sport and I don’t think that anyone will be more disappointed to miss out on the finals than ourselves. We’d seen the other results the days leading up to our final match and knew that if we were going to do it then it was going to have to be the hard way. After losing to Castleford the situation was out of our hands and that came back to haunt us.
We wanted to put in a good professional performance to try and finish the season as best we could but unfortunately we weren’t able to do that and the season came to a bit of a sour end.
Looking back on 2017 I think we started really well. We were on a good run of form picking up plenty of wins, scoring lots of tries and we were crowned World Champions in a competition the club hasn’t won for quite some time.
We were going well but then we lost a few bodies to injury, we also started to get some bodies back, that’s when we found ourselves going through patches where we’d win a few and lose a few.
It’s been an inconsistent season but we still managed to get the Challenge Cup Final as well as getting that World Club win, most teams would take that but we know that it could have been so much better.
For me, being a part of the World Club Challenge and the Challenge Cup final have not only been season highlights but also career highlights. The World Club title was the first major trophy that I’ve won in my time at Wigan so that was a huge one for me and an amazing personal and team achievement. The Challenge Cup Final too was a pretty big one, it’s a game and occasion that I’ve never experienced before but have always wanted to. The result definitely wasn’t the one that we wanted but it’s a day that I will remember for a long time. I had a lot of family there that day, some who had never seen me play rugby before, so it was quite an overwhelming day.
It was awards night on Sunday and for me I can never look past John Bateman as a standout player, he’s an absolute machine. Michael Mcilorum too, he’s probably one of the hardest blokes I’ve ever played with, for him to come back from such a bad injury and play the way he has is an absolute credit. For me, I think the person who has been the outright best this year is Sean O’Loughlin. He rightfully picked up several awards on Sunday and it’s great news that he’s going to play out his career at Wigan. When we need him he stands up and he’s all over the pitch helping out. He made the Dream Team too which shows just how important of a player he is to us.
A final word from me on 2017 would be to say a big thank you to you, the fans. It’s been a tough year and there’s been games and times when we have really needed the fans to get us through and they’ve certainly done that. You have followed us wherever we’ve been, whether it be a rainy Sunday afternoon or a sunny Friday evening the fans turn out and without you we wouldn’t be able to do the job we do.
On a personal level, the fans have really helped me through some tough times this year. It has been well documented that I’ve had a tough year off the pitch but the letters and messages and cards of support that I received really meant a lot and got me through a difficult patch. It’s only someone taking five minutes out of his or her day to wish me well but it helps so much and I genuinely can’t thank you enough for that.
Thanks for being there this year, for your incredible support for both the boys and I. We want to come back stronger than ever next season and look forward to seeing you all soon.
P.S. thanks also to my mate Charlotte who helps me put this blog together. She’s been a great help all year and I really appreciate it!