Castleford Tigers pre-season visit to train with Premier League soccer club Everton certainly left a positive impression on the squad.
The Cas players used the impressive facilities at the Merseyside club’s Finch Farm training complex, and were certainly impressed by what they saw and did.
“It was certainly something different,” hooker Daryl Clark told Love Rugby League.
“We’d be doing all the running and hard work, and hard tackling for the last few weeks, so it was fun to try something different, and be in a different environment.”
As for who was the best footballer, both Clark and Gilmour agreed that Danny Orr showed some skills.
“Danny Orr brought his boots back out, I don’t think he wants to hang them up!” Clark wisecracked.
“There were a few good players. Jordan Tansey was quite a good player, but we’re all pretty rubbish to be honest.”
“But the Aussies and Kiwis were bad, they were certainly the worst players!”
The sheer opulence of the facilities on offer at the soccer club also seemed to leave a big impression on England Knights hooker Clark.
“It’s a different side to sport. Football’s massive, and just to see the facilities was great,” he added.
“The facilities they’ve got are amazing, with hot tubs and swimming pools and everything else.
“Compared to what we work with it’s a different world. It’s good to see a different side of things.”
Gilmour is more familiar with Everton, having trained them with before back in his St Helens days.
“It’s the second time I’ve done that, actually,” said veteran back-rower Lee Gilmour.
“I did it before with Ian Millward at St Helens. But Everton have got a new facility now, which is unbelievable.
“It was nice to meet their coaches, do some of their sessions, and see what they get up to.
“It’s a change of scenery. It gives you a little mental break and some time to bond with the lads.
“Obviously there’s been a big change of players at Castleford this year, so the more team bonding we can do, then it’ll help with our rugby on the pitch.”
The 34-year-old also thinks that there is much for Rugby League clubs to gain from working with other sports and inspirational people from other spheres.
“I suppose they do things which can help you physically,” he mused.
“I don’t how they things could transfer over to the game itself, but certainly physically they may have certain agility drills or speed drills which we don’t quite use which could be beneficial.
“One of the drills we did with Everton was a two on two exercise, with two attackers and two defenders.
“You have to get in the opponents’ face, cut their time down and give them no space.
“That does transfer over to our game. If you have a player like Lee Briers, for example, you can’t give a player like him too much space and time otherwise he’ll cause you a lot of trouble.
“Teams do use other people from other sports to motivate you too.
“Last year at Huddersfield we had a man come in who had lost his legs in the war. He came in and gave us a speech, and we took some motivation from his life.
“You can always pick something up from anyone who’s done something pretty special in their career or their life. You’ll always be able to pick something up from someone.”