Gareth Ellis has been an international forward, an NRL star, a two-time Challenge Cup winner and a two-time Grand Final winner, but the 37-year-old is excited by the next chapter in his illustrious career.
The former Hull FC skipper has recently joined the Black & Whites’ coaching staff as the club’s Emerging Talent Coach, which will see him work as the head coach of the reserves, under the guidance of Lee Radford.
Ellis, who worked in an administrational capacity in his first year after retirement, is looking forward to returning to the performance aspect of the game.
“I’m really excited. Spending time away from the squad on most days last year was really tough because I felt as though I wasn’t having any impact, or the sort of influence you can have as a coach,” Ellis explained to hullfc.com.
“In my administrational role, I never felt I could speak out in team meetings, whereas I feel that I am able to do that again, so it’s now on me to make sure that I can have a difference on the team.
“Having not coached before, I’ll be needing a lot of help. Richard Tate (Hull FC’s Development Manager) will be one of my assistants and he’s got a lot of experience with him coaching Hull University and the England University team.
The Black & Whites will be one of a number of Super League sides to welcome reserve grade rugby back in the 2019 season, with Ellis taking the reigns as the head coach of the side.
An advocate for the return of reserve grade rugby league, Ellis believes that it could help prevent the club “missing out” on some promising youngsters.
“I’m really looking forward to the reserves coming back, because it feels like we’ve been without it in so long and there’s potentially players that have slipped the net in that time,” he said.
“Some players are ready for Super League straight after academy level, but others aren’t. Even with myself, it wasn’t until I was 19 or 20 that I felt that I was a fully-fledged Super League player.
“Reserve grade, or ‘A’ team as it was previously known, allows younger players to go up against seasoned Super League players coming back from injury, as well as other youngsters vying to prove themselves.
“I think it’s a good thing for the game. Rather than judging people at the age of 17 or 18, we’ll be able to give them a bit more time to develop, and hopefully through that we’ll be able to gain a few young gems.”