Tom Garratt: Stepping up from NCL to Championship. I wanted a challenge!
I’ve always maintained that several NCL players can play professionally, many of which already have but for one reason or another, find themselves back playing at amateur level.
NCL Premiere division Giants, Siddal are no strangers to producing professional talent, it has gotten to the point where there is an unwritten expectation if you play for Siddal youth or Open Age, there is a strong chance you will be approached by a Super League or Championship Club.
You can watch Cinematic highlights of Siddal in action on our YouTube Channel by following the link at the end of this article.
Most recently The RFL heaped praise on 24 year old Tom Garratt from Brighouse West Yorkshire, for his blistering start to the 2019 campaign. Tom was part of the 2016 Siddal team which won the 2016 Grand Final in the 42-4 demolition of Leigh Miners Rangers .
Tom has scored 3 tries in his last 2 appearances for Championship side Dewsbury Rams.
Here’s what Tom had to say to GRM SPORT in regards to his step up from NCL to Championship.
How would you describe your time at Siddal?
“ I joined siddal at Under 16s after half a season at Brighouse Rangers, I played football prior and joined mainly because my friends played there but also because they played in the top division and I really wanted to challenge myself! My best memory for Siddal has to be winning the Grand Final in 2016, 42-4 and having the whole club there to support us.
“ I have quite a few funny memories from my time at Siddal, for example when we've had team days out in fancy dress. I remember once in the 16s me and my mate Oli dressed up as the world's biggest ever Smurfs! The most recent trip to Blackpool I managed to convince my mate to dress as a big pink dildo (won't mention any names).
How did the opportunity arise to play in the Championship for Dewsbury Rams?
“ The Dewsbury opportunity came about through Lee Greenwood getting the job as head coach. He previously coached me at Siddal and Calderdale College and said they could do with another prop and asked if I fancied it. Simple as that!
“ The seasons going good so far I'd say, it definitely feels like we're a new team but I reckon there are enough signs to show that we’re going to kick on and do well. I think we've got a few big wins up our sleeves!
Is there a big difference to playing NCL to playing Championship?
“ I think once you get your head round the fact that the tempo is a lot higher and the tackles are harder, if you're fit enough and willing to work hard In training and work hard training on your own, you won't go far wrong.
“ I can't say too much for the other teams but when Gareth Greenwood was in charge at Siddal he definitely implemented professional standards with us and it clearly worked a treat, we were always one of the best if not the best team in the conference. What I would say is there are definitely plenty of blokes in the conference that could play championship and championship one standard, but perhaps never get the opportunity.