19th June 2018, 12:26 | south_west
Saltash Essayons Chairman, player, coach and co-founder Axel Nicks fell in love with Rugby League aged 18.
And when his old team folded, he set about setting up his own club alongside Saltash RFC team mate Lewis Wells - and Saltash Essayons were born.
He explains: "When I was 18, Plymouth Titans contacted me as they needed a player, so I turned up and played.
"I'd never really heard of Rugby League before but I absolutely loved it - I thought it was a fantastic sport to play.
"I got more involved from there and when the club unfortunately folded we just thought - 'we want to play Rugby League' and rather than travelling long distances for our nearest club, we thought we'd make our own."
Based just across the Devon border from Plymouth, the Essayons have been on a recruitment drive for the past few months ahead of their first-ever season.
After suffering a 22-20 loss at North Devon's Tarka Storm in their first match, they picked up a historic win when they overcame Teignbridge Trojans 52-40 at the South West RL Magic Weekend on June 2.
"I was really chuffed for the boys," Nicks explained after the game.
"We're obviously a brand new club and only five of the squad today had ever played Rugby League before.
"Last week's game was close; this week we had a wobbly period but we managed to get our first win and I'm really proud.
"We scored some good tries, ran what we've been practising in training, kept it simple and got the result. I was very impressed. It was a strong effort from all of them."
Saltash Essayons have made a bright start to life
They are now on the lookout for new players
Since picking up their first win, Nicks and his team have been hard at work preparing for the rest of their summer campaign.
Over 30 players have been turning out at training as preparations step up for the club's first-ever home game - when they welcome Teignbridge to Moorlands Lane on Saturday (June 23), 2.30pm kick off.
But they are always on the lookout for new players who want to give Rugby League a go.
Nicks added: "We have some Saltash boys and some guys who come from Plymouth, but we're welcome to anyone who wants to come down to training.
"Things are going well; we've got the full backing of the local rugby union club and we've got a band of supporters who come to watch our away games too - it's a really exciting time for us all.
"Going forward, we just want to keep working with the clubs in the league to make the competition the best it can be - and we want to establish ourselves as one of the strongest teams in the south west," Nicks says.
"Hopefully you'll hear a lot more from us, and this region, over the coming years."
Saltash Essayons RLFC are now recruiting!
Training is held at Saltash RFC (PL12 4HJ) from 7pm every Wednesday and players of all abilities are welcome to attend.
Or search 'Saltash Essayons RL' on Facebook.