Brown & Clarke commit for 2017

Newcastle Thunder’s 2016 co-captains Joe Brown and Rhys Clarke have handed the club a boost for its future plans, as the pair have agreed on new contracts to remain at Kingston Park for the 2017 season.

 

The pair have been keen figures for Thunder in 2016, with their long-standing association with the club allowing them to lead the squad in its first year under the control of Mick Mantelli.

Jamaican international Brown, who made his 150th appearance for the club against the University of Gloucestershire All Golds in this year’s iPro Sport League 1 cup, will embark on his ninth season with the Tyneside club, while Clarke will enter his sixth.

The 25-year-old from Gateshead made his 150th career appearance in 2016, with his extension putting him on course to join a select group and play his 100th game for Thunder during the new season.

Brown and Clarke are the first of a number of key members of the 2016 squad to commit to Thunder for the new season, with more set to be announced in the coming weeks.

Joe Brown said: “I want to stay at the club as long as possible so when a deal was put on the table, I was more than happy to sign.

“It’s been a privilege to captain the team alongside Rhys and I think this season, I’ve been playing some of my best footie, so now I am just looking forward to kicking on.

Hopefully, we’ll go from strength to strength, the average age of the team is about 23 and if we can keep these players together for the next couple of years, we’ll be competing at the top of league 1.

Rhys Clarke said: “I knew I wanted to stay, the initial talks were positive and it got done pretty fast, to be honest.

“I’ve loved every minute since I came back and I’d like to stay here not just for next year but long term and hopefully see out my career here and in the higher leagues because that’s the end goal.”