Introducing the USA Tomahawks Head Coach Matthew Elliott: Interview Part 1
AMNRL.com is pleased to introduce you to the head coach of the USA Tomahawks, Matthew Elliott.
Coach Elliott has been appointed to guide the American National Rugby League side through the Rugby League World Cup Atlantic Zone qualifying series in October.
That series, to be hosted by the AMNRL in Philadelphia, will pit the USA national team against the South Africa Rhinos and Jamaica with the winner earning a spot in Group D alongside Wales and the Cook Islands in the RLWC to be held in the UK in 2013.
By way of background, Coach Elliott previously coached the Tomahawks in 2007 during their bid to qualify for the RLWC in Australia in 2008. The US was beaten by Samoa in that qualifying series staged in England.
In Part 1 of an exclusive two part series, we get Coach Elliott’s take on a range of issues and we begin by asking him whether he has had much time to focus on his appointment given his extremely busy schedule.
Elliott: The opportunity to assist the Tomahawks with their preparations for the World Cup Qualifiers is something that I'm genuinely looking forward to.
At a developmental level, I will be aiming to share systems and structures of play and preparation that I hope can be utilized not only during this tournament but for future performances.
From a personal perspective, the prestige and the opportunity to link up with the players in the US National Team is something that I am excited by.
AMNRL: Do you have thoughts yet on what you might do differently this time, if anything, in terms of game plans?
Elliott: In developing strategy I will firstly need to consult with officials and coaching staff associated with the players so as to implement plans that suit the talent selected.
In light of the limited preparation time, the strategic base will be simplistic to allow a unity of performance.
AMNRL Given your NRL commitments, how much input do you expect to have on team selections?
Elliott: I will make myself available to the Tomahawks’ officials on a consultative basis for any issues related to the team. However, I am not best placed to direct the selection process for obvious reasons.
In Part 2 of our Q&A with the coach, we’ll get his thoughts on the USA team’s potential makeup and find out what he knows about the Tomahawks’ opposition.