“It was an easy decision for me to sign again for next season.”
These are the words of full-back Matty Marsh following his re-signing for the 2021 campaign. “There is nowhere I’d rather be than playing for this team,” he revealed. “I think the direction the club is heading in is really exciting and I’m honored to be part of it.”
After making his Knights debut in 2018 while on dual-registration from former team Hull Kingston Rovers, 25-year-old Marsh, sponsored for 2020 by Sancus Utilities, has gone on to become a real fans’ favourite during his time with the club. Since signing ahead of the 2019 season, the Knights’ first back in the Betfred Championship, Marsh has established himself as one of the most dangerous full-backs outside Super League, finishing last season as the club’s top try scorer. Given, prior to his dual-registration stint with the club in 2018, Marsh had played predominantly as a half-back, the way he has adapted to a new position has been impressive.
On his re-signing, head coach James Ford commented that Marsh’s positive attitude to feedback and learning gives him confidence that Knights fans will see an even better version of the player in 2021, something Marsh himself hopes for. “I’m really enjoying the full-back role,” he told the club website. “I’ve still got loads to learn and I’m not at the standard that I personally want to be at but I know I’m in the right hands to get me there.” Adding that the coaching setup at the Knights is one he believes can get the best out of him, Marsh elaborated “I do feel my confidence has grown in the position but I owe a lot of that to the players in the team – they make it a lot easier for me!”
Currently there is a growing feeling that the Knights as a team, both on and off the field, are about to hit an even greater rate of progress as we look forward to moving to the LNER Community Stadium. “The setup the club has created is outstanding,” Marsh expressed.
“The new stadium shows the standards and intentions that the club have and I believe it’s a massive incentive for players to want to sign here,” he further noted. “The new stadium and facilities are massive bonuses to staying here.
After a tough start to the 2020 season, Marsh and the team are looking forward to putting that right in 2021 and the player himself is looking forward to striving for improvement. “In terms of individual goals for a season I always say I just want to keep improving and to be the best I can be for the team,” he outlined. “Playing in the spine of the team, I need to make sure I’m consistently at the standard that Fordy wants every week and keep pushing myself to get better.”
Marsh, himself a plumber by trade, had five weeks away from his day job while the nation was hit by lockdown but, by the time pre-season training begins in the coming months, will have had much longer away from rugby league. It is perhaps understandable, then, that Marsh is looking forward to getting back into working with the team. “It’s probably the first time I’ve ever looked forward to a pre-season!” he joked. “It’ll be great to get back into training. I’ve done a fair bit to keep fit during lockdown but training on your own isn’t the same,” he explained, adding “I’m looking forward to seeing the lads again and meeting new teammates.”
“It’s been good to get some time at home with the family but I’m missing the rugby now!”
In these unprecedented times, the continued support of all of our fans is massively appreciated. Without the support of the 2020 Patrons and Squadbuilder fund, the Knights wouldn’t be able to retain players like Marsh nor build for a bigger and better 2021. On that support, the full-back professed his gratitude for the recent gesture where in excess of 93% of 2020 members donated the value of their memberships back to the club. “I think what the fans have done this year especially, in these circumstances, just shows how great they are,” he said. “They have played a huge part in what we have done over the last couple of years and the following they bring home and away has pulled us through plenty of games!”
“I’ll always appreciate what the fans do for us but especially thankful for the support they have shown the club this year,” he added. “Personally, there are plenty of reasons for me to stay, from the group of lads and the coaching staff to the unbelievable following we get every week from the fans.”