U13’s Paul Quill wins prestigious Coach of the Year Award

London Skolars U13’s Head Coach Paul Quill capped off a memorable season by winning the prestigious Coach of the Year award at the Haringey Celebrating Sport Awards ceremony last night which took place at Tottenham Green Leisure Centre.

The evening was attended by various Councillors, Cabinet Members and the line-up was headed up by the Mayor of Haringey and 2 guest speakers in the shape of Tottenham Hostpur and Dutch goalkeeping star Micheal Vorm and GB Long Jumper, Daniel Bramble who is ranked 2nd in the UK behind Greg Rutherford and on course for Olympic Selection in 2016.

The Coach of the Year category was the mostly keenly contested award of the evening and Haringey Council received over 100 nominations, so for Paul to be shortlisted was a fantastic achievement in itself.

The award tops off an outstanding season for Quill as his U13’s troops in their first season of Junior Rugby League reached the play-offs and coupled this with a memorable Cup run which saw them lose agonisingly in the Semi-Final to eventual winners Ruitlish Raiders. Off the field Quill’s success saw him become one of the most popular coaches in the London Junior League, as he brought together players from all clubs for post-match photo shoots and inspirational talks.

Community Development Manager Matt Cuss who attended the awards alongside Paul and his family commented ‘I was extremely proud and grateful for Paul’s efforts throughout the 2015 season and his achievements were really down to his hard-work and dedication. Just to be nominated for this award was a superb accolade and shows that the hard-work that he along with our other fantastic volunteer junior coaches put in is being recognised across the borough. On the night Paul was up against some very strong nominees, so to hear his name being read out as the winner was a great end to the evening, and a wonderful end to what has been a fantastic season for him and the rest of our Junior teams.’

Cuss continued ‘planning has already started for the 2016 season, and hopefully awards and recognition like this will encourage more and more parents and people in the borough to give up their time and help develop the next generation of sporting stars in Haringey with us here at London Skolars.’


With the Capital Challenge on the horizon, tickets are selling fast for what is anticipated to be the most exciting event in its nine year history.

The Skolars will be fielding what is believed to be their strongest squad ever to take on Wigan in this format of the Capital Challenge. The club have been boosted by the recruitment of stand out Hemel performer Eddie Mbaraga as well as couple of other signings yet to be announced who can be assured to get fans excited. These players have been dominant performers at the League one level in recent seasons.

However, what is sure to provide the biggest draw for this event is our guest speaker, Sam Tomkins. One of the most relevant Rugby League players in the game today, Sam has been one of the two Englishmen stealing the headlines on both sides of the equator this off season, with his return to Wigan warriors from their New Zealand counterparts. With his knee injury ruling him out until the Easter period, it will be many people’s first and for some only chance to meet this enigmatic player, who’s charisma transitions superbly to all publicity he undertakes. Those who attend his session as guest speaker will get to hear his views on all things rugby league and probably most interestingly why he decided to return home and what the major differences were between the two lifestyles.

To book your tickets for hospitality or general admission please visit the London Skolars website http://www.skolarsrl.com/commercial/club-shop/ those interested in booking a table for the event  should contact Howard Kramer by phone on 0208 888 8488 or via email howardkramer@skolarsrl.com

In what has been a fantastic season for London Skolars Mini’s and Juniors, the clubs achievements have been recognised further afield than just the Rugby League Community, with inspirational U13’s Head Coach Paul Quill being nominated for a Haringey Celebrating Sport Award in the Category of Junior Coach of the Year.

This nomination tops off an outstanding year for Quill, whose U13’s, as we reported throughout the year had an absolutely fantastic first season of Rugby League under his tutelage.

Here at London Skolars we measure success of our youngest teams not by trophies or wins, but by the amount of children who return every week to play Rugby League at New River, and Quill’s high quality coaching coupled with his unrivalled passion for the game and developing young people ensured that each week the U13’s were blessed with fantastic numbers whether that be for training or playing. On field success also matched this off field enthusiasm, and the U13’s finished in the play-off places whilst also reaching the Semi-Final of the Junior League Cup.

Paul also continued his coaching development this year by leading the U13’s North in their 2-1 Origin Series win against their Southern counterparts. He has also gained experience working with older age-groups by assisting on the South-East Universities programme which culminates in a game against the South-West in early December.

Community Development Manager Matt Cuss commented on Quill’s nomination ‘it’s fantastic for Paul’s achievements to be recognised outside of the club environment. We at Skolars all know first hand the hard work he puts in to ensure that every player, club and coach he works alongside has a positive experience of Rugby League and of London Skolars, awards like these are important to highlight the great work our volunteer coaches are doing here. Haringey has a rich heritage of sporting success and the Celebrating Sports Awards are a true celebration of all the sporting activity that is going on throughout the borough, the evening itself is always a fantastic occasion and it will top it off for Paul and the club if he is named as a winner on the night.’

The club is no stranger to success at these prestigious awards, being named Club of the Year in 2011 and our outstanding U19’s side of 2013 winning Junior Team of the Year in 2013. Hopefully we will see another Skolars representative on the trophy in 2015.

London Skolars celebrated their 20th anniversary with a dinner at a central London hotel on the eve of the Second Test between England and New Zealand.

Players, officials and supporters from the club’s earliest days up to the present time, enjoyed a convivial evening of reminiscences, tales and chatter.

Chairman Hector McNeil, who has been with the club from the start, talked about the difficult times, turning professional and the efforts to move the club forward.

Answering a question about the future, he said, “The aim is to become a Championship side.

The Guest of Honour was Wigan director and former Warriors and England full-back Kris Radlinski.

The Warriors have set up an office in the capital and are keen to keep a presence and do things to assist rugby league in the capital. “There are so many fantastic athletes in London. Maybe we can some of them playing rugby league,” he said.

Radlinski talked about the player who influenced his career most and it was Adrian Lam, the New Zealander who played for Wigan from 2001 to 2004.

He recalled afternoons spent on a trampoline, and said “Adrian made me think about the game in a whole new way.”

To celebrate 20 years, the Skolars have instituted a Hall of Fame and announced the first two inductees. Six men were shortlisted – all former players – Austen Aggrey, Bobby Brown, Gareth Honor, Charlie Oyabade, Rubert Jonker and Paul Thorman.

Originally, it was going only a single person inducted, but two candidates received an almost identical number of votes so the inaugural class comprises Aggrey and Brown.

Aggrey is the club’s all-time leading try scorer in the professional era with 57 tries in 179 games. He began his career as a winger, but finished as a barnstorming prop, one whose turn of pace certainly reminded people of his wing days. He rarely attends games as he now lives in Belgium working for a large retail chain.

Brown is one of the oldest men ever to make his professional rugby league debut, achieving the feat at the age of 41. It was his fault, really, as he went to watch the Skolars playing in their first season – at Workington, so quite a leap of faith. One thing led to another and Bobby found himself in the squad. Since finally hanging up his boots, he has worked tirelessly with the junior section, bringing on the next generation of Skolars.


By David Ballheimer

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