Gill relishing being a Titan
Utility back Joel Gill is loving his time at the Lane and despite making the jump from National One this summer, his performances in the first three warm-up games, suggests Titans have once again unearthed a rough diamond.
Born in Harrogate, Yorkshire, the 22 years-old is eager to make his mark in the Championship and is desperate to make an impression as he competes for a squad jersey. Gill has already impressed the coaching staff with his strength, speed, passing and an appetite for the physical side of the game and he’s determined not to let his Championship opportunity pass him by.
Joel took time out of his busy training schedule to explain how things were going and a little about his background, he remarked, “I started to play the sport when I was at High School at about 14 years old. I eventually went on to play at Wharfedale and then I left there and had two seasons at Otley before returning to Wharfedale. I enjoyed my time at both clubs, but having gone to school in Otley I knew quite a lot of people at Cross Green.”
Despite joining up with the Titans during the summer, not all the faces around him were new ones, “Previously I have played with the Middlesbrough boys Carl Kirwan and Peter Homan whilst on Yorkshire duty, I have played some Leeds Carnegie Academy games with Gareth Denman and I played some matches last year with Alex Rieder whilst he was at Wharfedale on loan.”
Gill continued and explained how the move to South Yorkshire was initiated and his first impressions of Head Coach Andre Bester, “Andre rang me towards the start of last season and said he’d heard some good things about me. He asked me to put a DVD together of some clips of me playing rugby, then we arranged a meeting and it just went from there really.
“Andre is very straight to the point and that’s good because you know where you are with him. He’s very direct and he tells you what he wants from you and what you need to work on to improve as a player and that seems to be working very well at the moment.”
Gill has settled in well, but he’s the first to admit he’s not the finished article as he explained, “We have a top set of lads here at Clifton Lane and we are gelling together very well. Everyone is level headed and working very hard towards their personal and team goals.
“I am really pleased personally with how well I’ve played in the first three warm up games, but it’s the team around you that allows you to do your job well and I’ve been provided with a lot of front-foot ball to play off. However, I’ve still got a lot of things to work on.”
Finally, the extremely versatile Gill identified his preferred position within the team, but acknowledged competition would be intense, “I really enjoy playing at scrum half and ultimately that would be my preferred position, but here at the Titans we are extremely strong in that area. I also enjoy playing in the centres and can also play on the wing and at full back.
“Personally my ambition for the season would be to try and get a starting jersey, if that’s not possible I would like to try and make sure I am in the squad. I know that is going to be a real challenge as it seems that every position within the team has numerous guys competing for the same shirt, but I’ll definitely be giving it my best shot.”