Brown named Thunder captain for 2018

Newcastle Thunder will call on the experience of Joe Brown as their skipper in 2018, after announcing the Jamaican international centre as captain ahead of Sunday’s start of the new Betfred League 1 season.

Brown, who is closing in on 200 appearances with the club, has in recent seasons shared the captaincy with fellow stalwart Rhys Clarke who will this season take on the vice-captaincy role as head coach Jason Payne amends his structures for the new campaign.

Speaking of his on-field commanders, Payne said: “I’m delighted that Joe will once again remain as Skipper for the 2018 season, Joe is a long-time servant of the club and a great leader who is well respected.

“Rhys will be our Vice Captain this year. Rhys is a great character who can lift the team at the drop of a hat; he has been here a long time now and really leads by example on the pitch.

“My decision to go with Joe as Captain and not co-captain is purely a personal preference, we had so many changes this year and I felt we needed clear leadership on game-days with a great support network around Joe.

“Joe and Rhys have a really good relationship and are great mates so that will work as it always has and luckily we have many leaders in our team who play their part.”

Brown said: “It’s always an honour being named captain and its something that means a lot to me personally and my family.

“I have a great leadership team and vice-captain in Rhys Clarke to support me this year and I’m looking forward to being a part of a successful year.

“I appreciate the trust that Payney and Heapy have shown in me and will always do my best not to let them down and lead by example on the field.