24 Mar 2022

Ellis keen to see Teachers compete in the Presidents Cup

Ellis keen to see Teachers compete in the Presidents Cup

The return of the Presidents Cup next week at Saddleworth marks a debut in the competition for Great Britain Teachers Head Coach Martyn Ellis. The former Shevington Sharks and current Latchford Albion boss may be two years into his tenure but has never pitted his side against the other services until now due to the previous two competitions being called off due to the Covid pandemic.

Affable Ellis explained the process behind putting a squad together.

He said: "We did a couple of trials, one in the North West and one in Yorkshire, and our third was a game against Woolston to see what the players could do in game situation.

"It's gone really well, we've had a couple of sessions since and have another one lined up this Sunday (27th March) which will include a kit presentation before the game on the Wednesday. We've got a good squad although a couple have had to drop out through work and travel commitments, they'll have another opportunity next year to come along and have another go.

"We wanted to do this pre-covid but it got canceled and never happened. We managed to get them a game last year against North Wales Origin and this time, we said it's open door again and we'd trial, and some good talent came in and some new people got involved including quite a few from Yorkshire that weren't there last time. They have impressed, come onboard, and really bought into it."

He enthused, "I'm really looking forward to the competition starting."

"We've also had a couple of semi-pro lads join us, Liam Welham for example, and a couple of Hull lads. It's a good mixture, including a player from Wath Brow.

"We've tried to get a squad who want to work together, try hard for each other and hopefully come up with some wins. That's what we are there for.

"We want to compete and I'm pretty confident that we can. We've had a couple of training sessions and we've put structures in place that will suit everybody, just simple calls, and simple plays. We know that every club plays differently, they all get coached differently. We wanted some simple calls in place and we want to have a go and entertain hopefully, and throw the ball around a bit, which I like to do.

"Off the back of the trials there have been umpteen e-mails asking how can I be involved next time, how can I do this, how can I do that, and we have got plans for that as well. On the back of the Presidents Cup, we are hoping to bring in maybe a North v South game for all those that trialled.

"In my view, I don't think the Teachers was publicised as well as it could have been. Now we've got social media and the new committee has come in. They've been really proactive and social media has been really good for us. We've been pushing everything, including our women's side. They are doing fantastic and are looking good for their tournament which starts on April 11th. They have also put some good structures in place. For the future, it's going to look a lot better for both men and women's rugby league."

Martyn is also looking forward to playing at the different venues. "Again it's spread around, isn't it? It's not just being played in one area and hopefully, like Saddleworth are hosting our presentations, which will be great, we'll go over to Lock Lane and also get a chance to go to Leigh Miners."

He also wanted to extend thanks to Orrell St James for hosting training. "They have been great hosts, giving us use of their field free of charge and they have fantastic facilities. Community clubs are good like that and we now have other offers from the likes of Dudley Hill to go over and train, which is fantastic.

"We appreciate it, clubs and especially community clubs work very hard."

The Teachers start their campaign with a game against the England Universities side.

The full men's itinerary is as follows:

  • 30th March – Saddleworth Rangers
  • 6.00pm - UK Armed Forces v GB Police
  • 8.00pm – GB Teachers v England Universities
  • 27th April – Lock Lane
  • 6.00pm – England Universities v GB Police
  • 8.00pm – GB Teachers v UK Armed Forces
  • 25th May – Leigh Miners
  • 6.00pm – GB Police v GB Teachers
  • 8.00pm – UK Armed Forces v England Universities

The Women's tournament gets underway on 11th April also at Saddleworth and includes three fixtures as listed:

  • 13th April - Saddleworth
  • 7.00pm - UK Armed Forces v GB Teachers
  • 11th May - Lock Lane
  • 7.00pm - GB Teachers v England Universities
  • 1st June - Leigh Miners
  • 7.00pm - England Universities v UK Armed Forces