Jamie Fields: Taking the NCL by storm!
"We're not here to take part, we're here to take over!" - These famous words of the 'Notorious' Connor McGregor must resonate very well with Hunslet Club Parkside who are currently unbeaten in the NCL Premier Division, following 3 successive promotions through the leagues.
I featured Hunslet on the GRM youtube channel, covering their game against Siddal, you can watch the highlights from this game by following the link at the end of this article!
I recently interviewed Hunslet Club Parkside captain Jamie Fields, 29, to discuss his teams remarkable rise to the highest tier of amateur rugby. Having played for Leeds, Oulton Raiders and Milford Marlins the Prop-forward has been one of the most impressive, multi-skilled players I have featured on GRM. Unlike most props who offer a 'route-one' battering ram style of play, Fields acts as a pivot in the forwards with great kicking and passing technique. Here's what Jamie had to say to GRM:
1. Why do you think Hunslet have been so dominant this season?
"Commitment. We’re all buying into the same goals and making realistic goals! We aren't setting the bar too high for ourselves. We defend to 10 points and less than 10 penalties a game. We also avoid talking about who we have t the following week, which give us tunnel vision. Every week is a cup final to us! Be it be at home or away!
2. Including yourself, talk us through some of the key players at the club.
" We have several key players but collectively it’s a squad that gets us to where we are and we won’t forget that.
Bit of background on myself, I played for BARLA u23’s, toured Jamaica and played for the open age team too. I then captained the Tri Series winning team to last years county championship and won the last NCL League 1 and 2 player of the year which is great but like I say, ultimately it’s a club effort with what we achieve. It is always nice to get the accolades but it’s a club effort.
Some of the other key players include Craig McShane, who is massive for us at the back, footwork and defensively amazing and punches well above his weight. Craig has won the 2017 tri series county championship
Ben Shulver played a couple super league games in his teens and now plays in the back row for us, Ben takes a lot of work off our middles and tireless in Defence!
Jamie Bradley is hands down the best player I’ve ever played with! 9 or 13 he can do anything on a rugby pitch! tackle, carry out people through gaps, a real all round player! Jamie is someone who we all look up to, even myself as captain.
Andy Hullock plays 6 gets us on the front foot and knows how to push us up the field, great giving the money balls and a good kicking game too loves a moan too haha! Was also in the County Championship winning team
Kieran Murphy plays centre or back row and was on the books at Huddersfield Giants where his brother plays now! He’s a key part of our team, a strike player, very powerful and takes loads of work off the forwards so yeah we love him haha!!
Danny Rowse played at Wakefield when he was younger, countless tours with BARLA a real knowledge for the game great kicking game and distributor of the ball in good ball areas.
That’s just a few of lads but seriously could go through the whole squad and tell what their roles are! Again, its the collective effort that matters".
3. What has been your toughest game so far?
" Our toughest game so far was West Hull at ours, we couldn’t really get going they did the little things very well and nearly managed to get a win, but we rolled our sleeves up and showed a lot of grit and determination to come from behind and beat former champions of the NCL!"
4. Do you think the standard in NCL Premier could be higher?
"No I don’t, I’ve said to a few people that the top teams in the NCL Premier division would compete in league one at the top too in my opinion. York knights beat west wales 144-0! This wouldn’t happen to an NCL Premier Division side, it just wouldn’t ! So no, I think the top of amateur rugby league is above the lesser semi-pro sides it shows in challenge cup games too when sides meet!"
5. How important has Paul Mcshane been to the club?
" Paul is massive for us, he’s always got something new to show us at training. He never switches off! From the minute the final whistle goes he’s onto lads 'how you pull up?' 'who’s ok for next week then?' - pretty much having a team sorted by Monday morning haha!
He’s a Hunslet junior too! As are Martin Rowse and Sam Thorpe, so I think it adds more heart and fight to the lads and it definitely shines through the three of them. They make a real clever trio and they're quality coaches
6. What’s the long term goal this season?
" Long term goal is to finish in the top 4! It would be a real feat for us and we’re committed to getting there. Anything more is a real statement on what we set out to do. Clinching the league is a goal of not only for myself but all of the lads to be honest. The coaches keep us grounded but yeah, clinching the league and winning all 4 divisions back to back would be phenomenal..not sure it’s been done before either!!