RL Cleveland practice 2

Photo Credit: Cleveland Rugby League

The main driving force behind the Cleveland Rugby League franchise in the US and his management team are in the throes of stepping things up as they look ahead to what could be in 2021.

The global pandemic has thrown a major spoke in the wheels of the franchise’s blueprint to further develop its program in 2020, although in spite of that, a lot has been happening in the rock ‘n’ roll capital of the world and there is more to come.

Hot on the heels of their debut 13-a-side game against the USA Rugby League (USARL) North Conference club Northern Virginia (NOVA) Eagles in September, the team has put out a worldwide call for a head coach.

“With me having aspirations of still playing professionally, it would be selfish of me to leave the club without any order and structure,” Cleveland Rugby League founder and current head coach Monte Gaddis told Rugby League Planet.

“Cleveland Rugby League has all the operations behind the scenes set up, such as marketing director, player development, player personnel etc.

“The head coaching position will be filled all depending on joining the USARL. As of now, the club is still training and learning all aspects of the game via zoom and touch sessions.”

The Cleveland team has been touted as a potential inclusion in a new USARL expansion Midwest (MWRL) Conference, plans for which have also had to be sidelined in 2020 because of the novel coronavirus.

Other teams mentioned in the continuing conversation about forming a Midwest Conference include the Chicago Stockyarders and Columbus Voyagers, as well as potentially Canadian provincial side Ontario.

RLP understands that there have been initial discussions about a possible injection of funds into America’s domestic league from a potential investor which, if that were to come to fruition, could perhaps see the existing USARL clubs competition expand to other parts of the country, including the Midwest and West Coast.

However, at this juncture, the reported discussions are in their very early stages and according to Gaddis and others, none of this is as yet set in stone.

“Even without the backing, we will try to set up matches over the summer of 2021 that will still need a coach to help strengthen the club,” he said.

“We have the options of staying independent, joining with Midwest clubs to make a league, or start our own.

“Dylan Seely and I were the only players to have league matches under our belt explaining the game to lads. He has helped heaps during trainings, along with Johnathan Torres (player) and Brady Payne (executive staff).”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the coaching position, or applying for it, can email the Cleveland club directly at clevelandrugbyleague@gmail.com

Brian is a strong and effective communicator with more than 30 years’ experience in broadcast and electronic media. He has been writing for Rugby League Planet since 2012 and is frequently the first reporter to break news stories about the sport. He has been our North American correspondent reporting on news in the US, Canada and Jamaica covering everything from league standings to strategy analysis to breaking news on key trades to editorials and colourful features on athletes. He is now writing about rugby league on a broader scale to cover developments around the globe. An accomplished storyteller, Brian started his career in Australian radio, before moving to the United States. He is an experienced podcast host and producer and is also a successful TV commentator having done play-by-play and analysis for ESPN, FOX Sports and the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) among others. Brian has his own YouTube channel @brianlowe5567 where he posts his interviews for Rugby League Planet. Be sure to check it out and subscribe.