SWINDON St George chairman Tony Ellis is hoping his appointment to Englands’s wheelchair rugby league coaching staff can help improve himself as coach and raise his club’s profile.
Ellis was announced as part of the new coaching team on June 11, having only applied for the job that week. The St George man took his first coaching session last Monday, the session doubled as part of and Ellis’s first task in the role. Along with newly appointed head coach Phil Roberts, Ellis, and the other members of the England coaching team, had to run the rule and select a developmental England team for the upcoming four nations tournament.
Ellis told the Advertiser how discovering he got the job came in a bit of whirl but he thinks his appointment reflects the great work being done at Swindon St George.
“It’s all happened really fast, I only applied on the Friday (June 6) before the announcement and was told I got the job next Wednesday,” he said.
“It’s quite a small sport so from that networking, bringing on St George to fourth in the national league, they (England Wheelchair Rugby League) know what you’re like and what you’re coaching to, it’s nice to get the job.
“It’s nice to get that recognition (of the job) on the background of starting a club only three and half years ago, and now to be holding our own in the game’s top flight.
“The reason I applied is can learn from the coaches but I can also bring my own ideas. Me being me I’m sure my voice will be heard, they can learn from me, I can learn from them. That’s what coaching is a about, whether that’s one-on-one, within or as a team, you’re there to learn and to develop.”
Ellis’ focus with England now is the Four Nations Tournament in September and then building towards the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup in 2017.
Last week 29 trialists were in Leeds with the hope of making the England squad for that tournament, as the regular England players are not permitted to take part in the Four Nations.
“We’re looking at three-year plan and to the Wheel Chair World Cup in Australia, part of that plan is this year’s Four Nations.
“What we did this week was trialling the up-and-coming side called the England Knights, with 29 players from across the country. From those 29 candidates we’ve taken a squad of 12 building up for the home nations.”
Swindon St George do have some interest in that team, with a number of the squad taking part in the trials and the squad announcement is expected in the coming weeks.