Greg Minikin Interview

Greg Minikin Interview

The young man Greg Minikin is one of the most recent athlete’s to step into Concave boots. The Castleford Tigers player rocks the VOLT+ as his teammates, Jake Webster and Benny Roberts, also represent strong for the #CaveGang and as the three gents came into Concave HQ, in Manchester, we sat down with Greg to discuss all things rugby...

What are your earliest memories of watching rugby and how did you get into it?

Watching rugby will have been at Bradford Bulls. My uncle used to always take me down to games with my two brothers. We’d always stand in the terrace. We were Bradford fans when we were younger. I played Union when I was young, in Harrogate – which is a Union town. But all my friends at school played League and I wanted to do what my friends did, so I went with them and played there.

Did your brothers play rugby?

Yes, both of my brothers played and they still play now. They both play Union – one of them is semi-pro and the other is at amateur level. I get down to watch them as much as I can, they play on Saturdays for different clubs, so I try and split my time as best I can. They support me as well, they’ve been to pretty much every home game so far.

What’s the conversation like with them, with you playing different styles of rugby?

There’s a bit of a divide in our house, we’re quite split – there’s always arguments about which code is better and how the game should be played, which can go on for hours and hours.

So were you born and raised in Harrogate?

Yes, both my parents are from there as well. Although, my Mum is half Irish.

With Harrogate being a Union town, how did you find the time in the area to switch over to League?

It was alright when I was a youngster because League played on a Saturday and Union played on a Sunday. I had loads of energy so I used to play on both days. But then it came to where League moved to Sundays and I had to choose and I chose Union. I played that for a few years and because my mates were all playing League, I thought I’d try that out.

Did you find one of the disciplines helped you with the other?

Yes, I took parts of the game from both codes and put it into League, so I did take a bit from Union. But I was still quite young when I started playing League all the time so I learnt more from that.

Is rugby the only sport that you tried your hand at?

At school we were made to play all sports, I was alright at some but now I’m pretty useless at most other sports really.

Do you follow any other sports?

No not really, it’s just rugby. I watch a little bit of football but not really interested in it.

When did you realise that rugby was going to be a career for you?

I was actually quite old, I was 16 playing at York and was just thinking I’ll see how it goes. Then it was probably when I was about 18 when a few people had spoken to me and I thought I could probably go professional, so I’ll knuckle down and do it.

What age were you when you signed your first professional contract?

I played for York for 4 years and signed my contract at 16. But then at 18 I signed for Castleford and played a few games in the first team.

Was it a big step up from York to Castleford?

Yes, at first I struggled to fit in, and found it hard to handle it and get used to it at first. I was absolutely knackered after preseason training every day because I wasn’t used to that sort of intensity in training.

So was it the physicality or the mental side that was hardest?

Physical side. The games were so much faster and everyone was so much fitter and stronger – so a massive step up physically. I was working full-time as well and I was trying to focus on getting faster and fitter, so it was hard.

Was there somebody at the club that helped you through that transition?

Yes, Jake’s (Webster) been good with me and also Michael Shenton – they’ve taught me quite a lot of skills that you need to become a centre and a winger as well.

Which would you say is your best position?

You’d have to ask someone else that! I prefer playing as a centre but not by much, I’m happy to play both positions. As long as I’m playing, I’m happy.

What would you say has been the biggest change in the system or the club from last season to this season?

I think it's down to defence. Everyone knows us a good attacking team and scoring points from pretty much anywhere. But now we’ve had a big emphasis on working on defence in pre-season and that shows. We’ve only been beaten once at home – there’s some games we’ve played away where we’ve only lost by a small margin.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Making my Super League debut against Leeds down at Castlefield. It was packed out, so it was a bit scary actually. We won; I came on after about 50 minutes, so it was a good game and a good night for me.

Who was your first try against?

Catalan - It was about 3 days after my debut.

How did you come across Concave?

It’s all down to Jake Webster. I saw him wearing the boots and some of the gear around the training ground and they looked really good!

What was your first experience in the boots?

Yeah, really good and really comfortable. I got the Aura’s first of all - they were leather boots and I really like leather boots so I could put them straight on and could play in them straight away.

What’s been the reaction in the changing room to you wearing Concave?

It’s been really good. Now the new range has come out, I’ve been getting asked about them even more with people saying they’re nice. There has been some banter with people trying to rip into me and stuff but now overall, it’s been really good.

Out of the 3 silos, which would you say is your favourite?

The Aura and the Volt are close, but I’d say the Aura.

Black or white boots?

I’m a winger so I have to wear something a bit flashy, so I’ll say white.

What do you do outside of rugby to keep yourself busy?

Me and my two brothers have just bought a house together in Harrogate so I’ve spent a lot of time doing that up to sell it on. We’re trying to set up a business and we’ve got a few bikes as well to sell. We’re trying to build a career so that when I finish playing, I’ve got something to fall back on.

Do you set a target for tries in a season?

No, we don’t really set targets like that because it’s a little bit selfish. But I had a competition with another winger to see who could get the most, which I actually lost – but it was nothing serious. I don’t really mind who scores them.

Any countries you’d aspire to play in in the future?

I’d like to play in Australia at some point. Everyone thinks that it’s the best league there is and the highest league you can play in.

Have you got a favourite try?

Probably Wakefield away last year. It was a pretty long-range try and managed to score somehow.

Favourite style of music?

A weird one, but 80’s music. Probably Billy Joel, which is pretty strange for a 22 year old.

Do you watch any films or TV shows?

Yes, Suits is probably my favourite TV show and then Shawshank Redemption would be my favourite film!

Any advice that you’d give to a young player coming through?

Keep your head up most of all. If you get a set-back, don’t think that it’s over and don’t give up. Because if you work hard, you’ll probably going to make it. You’ve got to be enjoying what you’re doing and just keep at it if it’s something you want to do.

Writen by Concave @ 05/10/2017 03:17

  • Greg Minikin
  • Interview
  • Castleford Tigers