Farrell’s Forum: Titans plan for the future

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There is a fresh opportunity for all young, aspiring rugby league players in the town as Yorkshire Coast Titans are set to establish a new under-eights side.

Former York and Hull KR reserve grade player Nick Burgess, cousin of the outstanding Burgess brothers at South Sydney Rabbitohs, is set to lead the new venture, which will be based at Eastway Sports and Social Club for training on Tuesday evenings from 6pm until 7pm, starting on Tuesday April 30.

Burgess, with the help of Scarborough and District Sports Council Male Achiever of the Year Tom Ratcliffe, former Scarborough RUFC skipper Nick Ingham, and myself, is keen to develop the foundations of rugby league in the town as part of the Yorkshire Coast Titans club and is hoping for a large turnout of players at their first training session:

“To be honest, initially I wanted to get involved and set up the under-eights for quite selfish reasons as my eldest son, Harry, is seven and I wanted to have hands-on involvement in his rugby development as he’s really been enjoying playing in the minis section at Scarborough RUFC,” he said.

“After coaching at the recent Scarborough RUFC minis tournament I’ve realised that there are few differences between both codes at this age and I just want all junior rugby players in the town to be able to play all year round if they want to.

“The more I’ve thought about the project the more passionate I’ve become about developing junior rugby league in the town and hopefully we’ll get a lot of eager kids coming down to be part of what I know will be something very special.”

Andy Lawley, Yorkshire Coast Titans’ club secretary was keen to support Burgess’ venture:

“It’s been a long term plan of the club to form a mini division from under-eights upwards, but finding enough coaches to facilitate this has always been a problem,” he said.

“However, now with the help of Nick Burgess, Tom Ratcliffe, Nick Ingham and Craig Farrell we’re starting to make that vision a reality which we’re very excited about, as it will build on the work myself, Mark Burton and Keith Paddock have done in establishing successful under-14s and under-15s teams in recent years.

“Now the Titans are officially affiliated with Leeds Rhinos we feel there are some fantastic opportunities for young players of all ages to take their development to the next level.”

“As well as the new under-eights section we’re always on the lookout for new players for the under-14s and under-15s, and anyone wanting more information can contact me via the Yorkshire Coast Titans Facebook page.”

“While training is held at Eastway Sports and Social club all of the Titans matches are to be held at Hunmanby Sports Club, where we have recently moved to. It’s an excellent facility and will provide a great environment for all young players to develop their rugby league skills.”

Nick Burgess was keen to stress his short and long-term goals for the new team:

“Our main objective is just to get kids playing rugby league and having fun in a safe and structured environment, that’s the biggest thing for us, the kids’ enjoyment.”

“Long term, obviously it would be great to have some more kids from Scarborough playing the game professionally and playing in Super League or even the NRL, which I genuinely believe is a possibility given the pool of talent in the area.”

Despite not having had their first training session yet the team has already garnered support from professional players and rugby league media, having had tweets of support from the likes of Bradford Bulls’ Jamie Langley and Matt Diskin, Leeds Rhinos’ Rob Burrow and Ian Kirke, Hull FC’s Gareth Ellis, South Sydney Rabbitohs’ Luke Burgess and editor of the League Express, Martin Sadler.

Sam Burgess, widely regarded as the best rugby league forward in the world, was delighted at the prospect of seeing his cousin’s sons taking up the 13-a-side code, saying “I’m really happy that the youngest Burgess boys are able to take up the family sport and I can’t wait to come and see them play when I’m back in the UK.”

His attendance at any future Titans matches would be a huge coup for the club and a massive inspiration to young players.

Nick is also keen to use his contacts to get established Super League stars to attend the occasional training session to inspire the youngsters:

“Through mine and Craig’s contacts we’re hoping to get a few Super League players down during the course of the year to help train to kids and talk to them about what it takes to become a professional rugby league player, both on and off the pitch.”

Interested potential players for the new Titans team can contact Nick Burgess via email yorkshiretyrecentre@googlemail.com or tweet him @YorkshireTyres for further information.

Training for the new team is at Eastway from 6pm on Tuesdays from 30 April and everyone is welcome to turn up.