Matt Ellis proud to lead Wakefield Trinity out at Wembley but 'sleeping giant' only getting started

A 'sleeping giant' is stirring but owner Matt Ellis will not be satisfied until Wakefield Trinity are making waves in Super League.

Trinity end their 45-year wait for a day out at Wembley this weekend when they face Sheffield Eagles in the final of the 1895 Cup.

Wakefield have been starved of success in the modern era but are a club transformed under Ellis, who took over at Belle Vue following last year’s relegation.

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"When I supported the club, I always thought it was a sleeping giant," he told The Yorkshire Post.

"I'd seen clubs come from behind where Wakefield were like Catalans and Hull KR.

"I just thought a city club with a big population that was there on day one when rugby league started had a lot of potential.

"We need to get the ground full for next year and then potentially build on that. I think we can get 10,000 plus here. I seriously believe that.

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"We want to be back in Super League with big games every week. This is the start of it."

Matt Ellis has ambitious plans for Wakefield. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)Matt Ellis has ambitious plans for Wakefield. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
Matt Ellis has ambitious plans for Wakefield. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

Trinity are increasingly confident that they will return to the top level via the new grading system that goes live later this year.

On the field, Daryl Powell's star-studded side are on course to earn promotion on merit after winning their opening 10 games of the Championship season.

Ellis has shown his ambition in the early stages of his ownership and will be rewarded on Saturday when he leads Trinity out at Wembley.

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"Being a supporter of the club and the work we've done as well, it's going to be a special moment," he said.

Wakefield celebrate their semi-final win at Odsal. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)Wakefield celebrate their semi-final win at Odsal. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)
Wakefield celebrate their semi-final win at Odsal. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)

"It's a short period as an owner to be going to Wembley but a lot of work has got into it, even two or three hours on the phone to people on an evening.

"The club needed a lot of work to get it back to a positive point. I think that's where we're at now.

"This is the first step for that positivity and getting the supporters behind us. They’ve been unbelievable.

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"When I was a supporter, you want an owner and a coach that you want to back. We've hopefully got both now.

There is a positive vibe among the Wakefield supporters again. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)There is a positive vibe among the Wakefield supporters again. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)
There is a positive vibe among the Wakefield supporters again. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)

"Leading the players out is a massive honour. They’re a great set of lads and I'm proud to walk them out. Now we've got to go and win."

Wakefield have not lifted silverware since their last season in the second tier in 1998 when they beat Featherstone Rovers in the Grand Final to secure promotion to Super League, while they must go back 61 years for their most recent Wembley win.

Saturday's final offers the class of 2024 the chance to create their own history at the start of an exciting new era for the Belle Vue club.

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"The first day I came in and spoke to the players, I talked about the history of the club with the Challenge Cup and Wembley," said Ellis.

"We live off that history from years gone by. This isn't the Challenge Cup but we wanted to get back there in the 1895 Cup to give the fans something to get excited about again.

"Coming down from Super League where you're used to playing big games each week, this one was targeted as something we really wanted to do.

"How many chances do you get to play at Wembley? I wasn't alive when we were last there and a lot of the supporters have never seen us at Wembley.

"You speak to supporters who talk about their dads and grandads going. Now they've got the chance to follow in their footsteps."

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