LLANELLI Online caught up with Jon Ellis (JE), left & Phil Carlton (PC) right, to see how preparations are going for this week’s Welsh Derby at Stebonheath Park, courtesy of the West Wales Raiders.
Here is what they had to say:
After having two weekends without a fixture how has it been for the players and yourselves?
JE- Frustrating is one word and frustrating is another,just looking forward to playing now and getting the team playing our structures week in and out. It still feels like we’re in constant training mode at the moment.
PC- Long! It seems like we haven’t got out of preseason yet.. and we know there is a long old season still ahead of us. That said there is little we could do about many of the delays so now we’re just keen to get going.
This will be the second time that the Raiders have played the Crusaders recently do you expect it to be a similar encounter to the friendly?
JE – Not at all,that was a game with new players playing in different positions coming in and out of the game,Friday is a game with hopefully everyone fit and in their familiar positions.
PC-No, I wouldn’t say so. In that friendly we had players on and off, out of position etc.. This time, I wont say we are the polished article but we will def be in a better place .
Finally a first home game for the Raiders, does this change any of the players or staffs attitude to the game?
JE – Being at home is hopefully going to lift the players but we will be preparing as always with the same attitude for every game.
PC-I’d like to think we go at every game as hard as we can. Win, lose or draw. But a first home game, welsh derby and in front of what will hopefully be a tidy crowd.. I think we’ll have that little extra about us.
How is the injury list currently looking?
JE – Getting better but I’m sure it will fluctuate throughout the season,its how we apply the rehab and after care getting players fit and keeping them fit.
PC-Shorter. Thank goodness. Still 4 or so out but it’s heading in the right direction.
Do you have anything you would like to say to the supporters in preparation to this Fridays big Welsh Derby?
JE – Yes come down and watch,its rugby league the hardest team sport in the world played at 100 mile an hour no stoppages big hits great tries and players putting their bodies on the line for their mates and supporters.
PC-Just come down and enjoy the occasion. I’ve never played or coached in a boring Welsh derby. They are always great games. It may have taken us a while to get going, I know.. But hopefully we’ll be worth the wait.