Kelly praises Magic innovation

Andy Kelly admits he would love to have been part of The Magic Weekend as player with his old club Wakefield, who will bring the first day of Engage Super League’s Murrayfield extravaganza to a close with a match against Leeds on Saturday.

Kelly was a rangy second rower for Trinity before leading them into Super League as coach with their thrilling 1998 Division One Grand Final win over neighbours Featherstone Rovers.

Now the first team coach at Gateshead Thunder and a Talent Coach for the RFL in the North East, Kelly will be an interested observer when the 14 Engage Super League teams flock to Edinburgh.

Kelly said: “I think I would have really enjoyed it. It was never even thought of in those days to my knowledge, I can’t remember there even being a suggestion of something like this.

“But that goes back to the RFL and its innovative approach to the game. They are always looking for new angles and concepts to entertain their customers.

“People probably raised a bit of an eyebrow when it was first introduced, but now it’s been fully accepted into the Rugby League calendar. People look forward to it because it’s another big Rugby League occasion.

Kelly believes that the Scottish capital is the ideal city to host Round 14 of the Engage Super League pinpointing Edinburgh’s history and nightlife as particular selling points.

“Edinburgh is a fantastic place. There’s a real historic past with the walls and the castle, and that’s a big part of its enchantment,” said Kelly.

The nightlife is in quite a contained area so that you don’t have to stray too far from one social venue to another. There’s a little bit of something for everyone.”

Kelly’s former club face a massive test at Murrayfield when they take on local rivals Leeds Rhinos but the Wildcats will be boosted by their 28-18 Valentine’s Day win over Brian McClennan’s side.

“Leeds are just starting to indicate that they might be finding a level of form at a time when Wakefield have dipped a little,” Kelly added.

“The implications for both sides are massive. In terms of boosting Wakefield’s confidence, the match could not be more timely, and offers them a chance of victory against what is perceived as a higher opponent.

“They’ve already beaten Leeds this season so they know that they’re capable of it.

“They need to draw on some of the experiences they’ve had this season and look at the victories and good moments, and try and replicate that form going into the Leeds game. “It’s time for them to dig deep.”

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