With the boys back in training preparing for their first couple of games in February I thought there would be no greater time than now to catch up with our head coach Jon Ellis and see what are his thoughts for this season both on and off the field.

As most weeks myself and Jon try to have one day a week where we make sure that we concentrate on only Raiders work, so this week we decided to add a short 30 minute slot on our calendar where we caught up on proceedings at the Raiders through the eyes of our experienced head coach.

Myself – “How is preseason going Jon?”

Jon Ellis –  ” Its going good, we have had some really intense sessions, our skill based sessions have been helped massively by the use of the scarlets barn enabling me too

concentrate solely on important key areas of our game. The fitness sessions in our partnered gym (Robert Davies Gym) have been really brutal as have the crossfit sessions at another one of our partnered fitness centres.”

PT – ” Are there many new faces at the Raiders this year?”

JE – ” We had an open day at Parc Y Scarlets with lots of new faces turning up at all age groups, its really encouraging and when they come they enjoy the physicality and high skill demands of rugby league. Also we have had lots of new partners come on board which helps with the promotional side of the game so all in all both on and off the field we have had a lot of new people coming on board.”

PT – ” Having worked in performance positions for both Wigan Warriors & Wales Rugby League, does playing rugby league help improve players skills?”

JE – ” Without a doubt, the high skill demand in rugby league, passing, tackling, running lines are transferable to rugby union. I find nearly all the children and adults who play rugby league for a season or more tend to go back to their rugby union clubs better all round players. Rugby league is a high intensity collision sport that doesn’t stop for 80 minutes and requires massive physical effort, players get fitter and make better decisions when playing rugby union from league as they can think tactically quicker because they are not as fatigued.”

PT – “What are your views on the partnership between the Raiders & the Scarlets?”

JE – ” I think its great, why not, its just the obvious thing to do, the staff we have been working with at the Scarlets have been brilliant, it makes it easier travelling the 33 miles to work most days especially as the new raiders office at the stadium has everything we need. I have also been invited to a couple of their home games and have really enjoyed the experience. I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing what else the partnership brings.”

PT – ” Are you looking forward to your first game against Chester Gladiators?”

JE – ” Massively so, I have been coaching Swansea University so I have not missed much rugby league in the off season but the first game back for the Raiders is always something I look forward too.”

PT – ” Since living in West Wales, what is your favourite place to visit?”

JE – ” Me the wife and kids loves going to Barafundle Bay and having fish and chips at “The Shed” in Porthgain.”

Keep an eye out on this years results as I will continue with the columns on a weekly basis, if you would like anymore information on anything regarding the West Wales Raiders please don’t hesitate to contact myself on petertiffin@raidersrugbyleague.co.uk.


Can YOU Help?

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the West Wales Chronicle than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The West Wales Chronicle’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as £1, you can support the Chronicle – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.