West Hull Legend Glyn Jones, prepares his junior team for the ultimate test!
When you lace up your boots and wear the green and gold down at North Road, there’s an unwritten expectation of excellence. This expectation is amplified when your coach is an ex-player and club legend. Currently coaching West Hull Under 15s, for 10 years now Glyn “Jonesey” Jones has imparted his playing knowledge onto some of West’s most promising youngsters.
As a player, Glyn was a key figure during the halcyon days of amateur rugby’s “golden era”, winning everything possible with West Hull at the highest level. Now a decade into his coaching career, his team are preparing to play in arguably the toughest league in the country for their age group, against some of the most talented players.
For years his West Hull team have dominated the Hull League, and Glyn has been itching for a new challenge.
The RFL and the Hull governing body have finally granted Glyn’s under 15s the oppurtinity to play in Yorkshire’s top division this year.
You can watch West Hull U15 in action on our YouTube channel - link at the end of this article.
I recently caught up with Glyn to discuss his playing days and his thoughts on West Hull U15’s taking on the challenge of Top Division Rugby against the best teams in the country.
How would you describe your first decade as a coach?
“ I started Coaching my under 15s when they first entered rugby league 10 years ago, and have gone right through with them while dipping in and out and helping with other teams to gain some experience, for example I helped Rob Wilson do the 15s seven years ago, I was also his assistant for the second team before taking over the reigns for 2 seasons in 2014. Now I’m coach of the 15s and assistant to the First Team. We have won the Hull and District Cup twice, We’ve also won the league and made the national cup final! As coach of the Second Team we won the Hull and District League, with the First Team we won the National Cup last year, and were runners up in the league and NCL Grand Final.
Before you started coaching, you have been regarded as one of the best ever players to play for West Hull. What are your greatest playing memories?
“ I started playing when I was 11 for the great Bransholme North, never really achieved much there except learning the game and making life long friends! I joined west hull at 17 and won everything in the amateur game… 18s Yorkshire and National Cup, Open Age we were 6 times Premier League champions and National Cup winners in 2002. We were also the Inaugural Grand Final winners in 2002, the first team to win the treble! I eventually toured France with Great Britain BARLA.
“I joined Hull Dockers in 2005 for a new challenge. I spent 3 seasons there gaining promotion then reaching the play-offs in their first season in the Premier Division.
"My greatest playing memory actually started with a loss! The Skirlaugh captain, Rich Gotts, said in his speech after the game “West Hull may win the friendlies but we will ALWAYS win when it counts”. We beat them for the next 19 games! 8 years we dominated them after that!
How would you describe your coaching style?
“I have different coaching styles to suit different players and environments, with my 15s they actually prefer me to be aggressive and give them a rollicking at half time (even when winning!) ,but I’m quite calm when we are learning new skills and I like to drag kids aside (even at open age) just to give them little pointers.
Your U15s will compete in Yorkshire Division 1 for the first time, what are you looking forward to most this season?
“ We’ve joined arguably the best competition in the country, it’s something we’ve been fighting for and what we’ve needed for the last few years. For the team to grow and develop they need to be challenged and play against the best teams, we did this last year in the National Cup and beat some very good teams, then in the final we were blown away by Siddal. I’m by no means saying we’d have won, but if we played those teams regularly, we’d have given a better account of ourselves.
Who do you think has the potential to have a standout season this year?
" Wow, tough question as we have so many outstanding players and I don’t want to feel I’m favouring anybody, we’ve got a great squad and hopefully they’ll all push one another and compete to be at the top!"
Thanks for taking the time out to speak to GRM Glyn! I wish you all the best in Yorkshire Division 1!
Written by Shawn Boatin