22 year old Andy Ackers grew up watching the Broncos in his home town of Wigan, and, having joined the club on a one year deal in 2015, has recently signed on for another two seasons.
“It was the easiest choice up to date really. I grew up as a kid watching London Broncos in the Super League, and to be playing for this team is really humbling.
“I can’t explain how blessed and how happy I am here. I love every part of the club and everyone involved.
“My favourite part about playing for the Broncos is winning. I love winning – always have, since I was 12 years old playing for my amateur club. We’ve earned every win we’ve had this year, there’s been no luck. We’ve all worked hard inside and outside of rugby.”
2016 is only London’s second season in the Kingstone Press Championship, and having not finished in the top four last year, the side’s first ever time in the Qualifiers. It’s a new experience for both the club and the players, and one everyone is looking forward to – Ackers especially.
“I’m looking forward to every game in the 8s, but probably was most looking forward to our game against Leeds.
“I watched them win the treble last year, and to be playing them was a massive experience – not just for me but for everyone – the atmosphere, and everything else that’s part of it.
“Leeds has some of the world’s best rugby league players in their team.
“I’m excited to be playing four Super League clubs in a row, and to see how we go against them all – we’re full time as well as them.”
London are perhaps seen as only an outside chance for promotion to Super League given the incredibly strong opposition standing in the way, but Ackers says last week’s result against Batley proves the side are more than capable of competing with the best teams.
“Our result against Batley was awesome – we worked hard in the week training to bounce back [from Leigh] and get some points on the board.
“It was the attitude that enabled us to put an 80 minute performance in. The boys know what we want, and what we’re aiming for.
“I think we’re seen as the underdogs, but we’ve proved many times this year what we’re capable of doing – nearly beating Leigh at LSV twice, and beating Bradford at home just shows what we’re about.”
What does Ackers do before a big game? “I prepare pretty easily really, I don’t think about any game – as soon as we finish captain’s run right up until an hour and a half to two hours before kick-off.
“Overthinking things can drain energy. In the morning I have my porridge, and I’ll have fruit two hours before kick-off – I like to stay light on game days.”
The highlight of Ackers’ season so far was finishing top four, and achieving the goals the team set for themselves at the beginning of the season.
What would he like to see from the 8s? “We all sat down, and our realistic goal of the eights is to get promoted. At the very beginning of the year our goal was to finish in the top four – we finished second, and we’ve proved this year – as I said before – just what we’re capable of doing.
“We’re going to have a good go, and you’ll see what we can do – there’s a lot of talent in this squad, and it’s a blessing to be part of it.”