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Salford Red Devils second year student Dan Goddard spent this Summer between first and second year taking part in the European U19's Rugby League Championships in Serbia representing Ireland- certainly a busy Summer! We caught up with him to chat all about the Championships, as well as to hear how he is feeling now that he has started his second year at the academy. 
Ireland U19's Rugby League team 
It's quite a busy Summer you've had Dan! Can you sum up your overall experience of playing in the European U19's Championship? 
Yeah it was good! I really enjoyed it- it was just such a great experience. It felt really surreal to be out there playing for my country (Ireland). I was out there for 2 weeks and we played 3 games, Scotland, Italy and then Serbia was our final game. We lost two and won one. It was just the experience of being out there with the team- I loved it!  
I can imagine! can you tell us a little about the selection process? 
I flew over to Ireland for about 2 months every Sunday to train and play with the team, and those days were hard and tiring but it was all worth it to be chosen as part of the squad, and then the night before each game in Serbia they’d do a shirt presentation to reveal who would be playing in the following game.  
For the first game I started 9 which was my position so I was really happy with that! then the second game I didn’t get selected to play against Italy as they were a slightly lesser team and the coach wanted to make sure everyone who had come out got a chance to play in at least one game.  
Then our final game which we played was like a cup final, I mean there was a proper final then they had another one and then we were in the 3rd final (laughs!) which you'd win a plate for. I played in that one but we lost, it was against Serbia as well- the ref was shocking! (laughs) 
Any highlights in particular which stand out to you?  
A standout moment for me has to be singing the National Anthem on the pitch at the start of the first game- that was a surreal moment! 
Getting my 2 caps as well was a massive highlight; playing those two games and getting the two caps from representing my country- just amazing! There was a really good crowd for every game and the atmosphere was incredible- you’d get a proper buzz off of it! There were so many highlights- I was depressed coming home! 
Now we have to talk about your second year at Salford Red Devils Academy. Congratulations on your outstanding results for your first year which featured in our results day blog! how are you finding your second year so far? 
It’s going really well! The pre-season was good and we’ve got a good set of lads this year. We went on our training camp to Wales on the first week and that was tough! Everyone gets on really well though- there's not one person here who doesn’t like anyone and vice versa, it’s a really good laugh! Last year there was like 10 of us so its miles different! 
Then our season started again last week, we have two teams the blacks and the reds. The reds are the 1st team and then the blacks are the 2nd team and I play as part of the red team.  
Both teams played their first matches last week, what are your reflections on the start of the season? 
Yes, last week we played against Barrow, at one stage we were 20 points down but we managed to pull it back and get our heads down- which although in the end we didn’t win we did come close. Overall for our first game of the season it was an okay result, especially as Barrow won the premiere league last season so they are one of the favourites coming into this season so considering that; we did do well and we're ready to push on.  
What are your ambitions and targets for this year- both from an education and a sporting perspective? 
In terms of education targets; following my results from first year I want to continue to work hard and get top grades. Then in terms of my development in Rugby, I really want to push towards training with the 1st team - that’s one of my major ambitions coming into this year! Last year when they were second years Sam (Bardsley) and Jack (Ratcliffe) trained with them so it’s definitely achievable, and something I want to do now that I am in second year. 
Finally, although it is early on in the year, do you know what you might like to do beyond the Academy? 
I am currently weighing up my options beyond the academy and I am looking into applying to Salford University to study Sports Rehab- as that is a area of interest for me, and other than playing Rugby, Sports Rehab is what I think I would like to do. Although I haven't completely made my mind up, I am going to make the portfolio in preparation for applying and then if I decide not to then I won’t but if I decide I do want to then I’m prepared for the application process.  
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