Monte Gaddis: Paving a way!
In sport there is no yellow brick road to success, you have to pave your own way. I recently caught up with Monte Gaddis, 26, from Cleveland Ohio, having followed his journey for the last few months. The first time I saw Gaddis was in a highlights reel playing for Shaw Cross Sharks, he was definitely a raw talent but he was also head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch in terms of athletic ability.
I did some more digging only to find out this young American is working his socks off to achieve his dreams of becoming a professional Rugby League player. Based on work ethic alone I am confident Gaddis will achieve his goals.
Here's what Monte Gaddis had to say to GRM:
1. What attracted you to Rugby League?
"The contact & physicality attracted me to Rugby League. Plus the sport is similar to American Football in many ways, I love the fact that I can play offence and defence. League gave me the opportunity to show NFL, NRL and Super League teams that I have what it takes to play at the highest levels with the elite."
2. What potential do you see for Rugby League over in the states?"
" I see Rugby League having big potential in the states, because in my opinion we have the best athletes and facilities. We just need the structure, knowledge and experience to compete with the Australians, Fijians and English. In the states, we have so many crossover athletes from basketball, wrestling, American football and track that can compete in the sport. Its just a matter of time."
3. You are pretty instrumental in paving a way for not only yourself, but other Americans interested in Rugby League. Tell us about the recent tournament in Chicago.
" After hosting my Cleveland Rugby League Combine in July, I chose 6 players to come to Chicago and compete in a Nines Tournament. All players played well, with scores from Tony Williams, Gino McNair, Rueben Williams and two tries from myself. We came out with the win and made history with the Combine, winning our first match and with being the first League team in the city."
4. What is your long term goal?
" My long term goals are to pave a way for myself in the NRL or Super League. I’m working to become a household name while also representing my country in the next Rugby League World Cup. I am a footballer at the end of the day, you're getting a hard working, passionate, coachable, professional athlete.
Playing in the United Kingdom and Serbia really moulded me with the knowledge of the game, experience and brotherhood of the sport. I'm prepared to play with the elite and eager to learn more from players and coaches.
Also in the near future, I want to start my own club in Cleveland. The team would be either a travelling 9s team or join the USARL clubs. We would compete in the Midwest Conference with Chicago and Ontario. Helping more crossover players like myself that come from low-income areas succeed in another outlet."