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What's going on at Bramley?


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#1 Bluebags

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:39 AM

Got an email from Bramley this morning with the following...

CONFERENCE CALL KILLS OFF BRAMLEY DREAM

It appears that the name of Bramley will disappear once again from the Rugby League map after a decision by the National Conference League to reject their application for entry into a league in which they’ve competed over the past season.
The original Bramley Rugby League Club folded in 1999 after years of mismanagement but supporters soon rallied around and the club was reborn in 2004 playing as the Buffaloes in what was the fourth tier of the national summer game.

Since then the West Leeds side has experienced unprecedented success with two Grand Final triumphs and a further three appearances in the showpiece occasion as well as five Minor Premiership titles.

Martyn Cheney, a lifelong supporter of the Amber and Black and chairman since 2004, commented: “It looks like we’ve been hung out to dry by the NCL for no clear, apparent reason and its a decision that has angered a lot of people with Rugby League in their blood

“We revived the club along unique lines and created a template for supporter ownership that has been replicated at many other clubs and organisations and is held up by the likes of Supporters Direct as an example to all. That will now count for nothing after we were refused entry into the competition we’ve been involved in for the past twelve months, a competition that pushed us a further three levels down the Rugby League pyramid.

“Its a farcical decision. We reached the Play Offs last season and had high hopes of moving the club forward under Craig Lingard, the latest in a long line of top class up and coming coaches that we’ve employed.

“We play our home games at Stanningley and our relationship with that club has been a symbiotic one from the start. We all benefit especially when our hundreds of loyal supporters have turned out in force at our home games and it appears the ground sharing arrangement has counted against us.

“We intend to appeal but we are not hopeful. It appears to be the end of the road for the Bramley dream as there is simply no point dropping down even more levels when our real objective all along was to re establish the club within the professional ranks. There is simply no appetite or enthusiasm on the part of our volunteer directors and players who have committed thousands of hours over the last 12 years or our fantastic army of supporters who have stuck with us throughout.

“The last ten seasons have provided all of us with some fantastic experiences and memories and we’ve been truly ground breaking at times in our approach to branding, PR and marketing especially when it came to building links with likeminded sponsors such as Unison, RMT and the Co-operative Society. It looked like we were on track to return to the top echelons of the game at one point but we have now been let down badly by the Rugby League authorities.


“It’s a decision that is perplexing and certainly diminishes our enthusiasm for what is the greatest game. Maybe the Bramley name will emerge again in the future but at this moment.



#2 Spidey

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 01:51 AM

They've applied to join a comp but don't fulfill the criteria so application rejected

#3 Grinner

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:52 AM

There's more discussion on the NCL board, most of this thread turns to be about Bramley:

http://www.totalrl.c...26-ncl-meeting/

Edited by Grinner, 27 September 2012 - 09:52 AM.


#4 fieldofclothofgold

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 01:49 PM

There is a conspiracy against RL in the City of Leeds,I'm told Boots n all show was anti leeds from start to finish too
but you and I weve been through that and this is not our fate.
So let us so let us not talk falsely now.
The hour is getting late
FROM 2004,TO DO WHAT THIS CLUB HAS DONE,IF THATS NOT GREATNESSTHEN i DONT KNOW WHAT IS.

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#5 PhilCarrington

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:33 PM

If they'd been in the NCL proper they'd have been thrown out this season for defaulting on games. That's more fundamental than any of the innovating marketing or branding they've done. Maybe they should direct those innovations to player recruitment.
I've got sympathy for any club that struggles from time to time to raise a side, but they had this problem last year as well, so maybe they need to drop a level and "regroup" as Phil Caplan always use to describe it in RLW.

#6 timhammonds

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:58 PM

There is a spare place in Cc1, if Bramley are serious about one day returning to the top echelons, why not apply now? Oxford are in with nothing more than a board and a venue.

#7 keighley

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:07 PM

There is a spare place in Cc1, if Bramley are serious about one day returning to the top echelons, why not apply now? Oxford are in with nothing more than a board and a venue.


Unfortunately Bramley do not have a venue fit for purpose for CC1. Loss of their griubd was the beginning of their terminal decline.

#8 Viking Warrior

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:23 PM

another sad day for RL like many i was waiting hopefully for bramley to re-join the league, but sadly that is now a pipe dream.
"Why is Napoleon crying ?" said one sailor to the other, "poor ###### thinks he's being exiled to st helens" came the reply.



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#9 Johnoco

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:24 PM

Could they not play at somewhere like Farsley Celtic or similar non league football team? Or has that been explored and is a non starter.

#10 southstand loiner

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:57 PM

its more a case of finding players as they seem to rely on players moving from winter based teams at the end of there own season rather than having there own pool of players
ah a sunday night in front of the telly watching old rugby league games.
does life get any better .

#11 Li0nhead

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:40 AM

Perhaps if when they reformed the decided to establish a club rather than a side they may have got somewhere.

Most National League clubs (up to this season) have a natural pool of players to pick from and a ground.

Bramley reformed and played out of an established Club. That club they played out of Stanningley, who had a club, a pitch, a junior section (providing umpteen players to the professional game) and a decent open age side.

Bramley had their name only.

Now 5 years down the line or so...Stanningley are doing what they have for years.....Bramley have not established a player feed to its self, a ground or a decent side. So they look at Championship 1? Nope...Next level NCL who only allow clubs who meet criteria (or working towards) such as own club house, fenced off pitch, X number of junior sides, X number of youth sides, An A-team, Sound off field management etc etc basically any pub side can have a decent side for 5 years but the NCL forces you to bring the kids through and that strengthens our game as now and again a kid is going to come along who is going to play a higher level through ability, simple force of numbers and good coaching.

What do Bramley have besides the name?

#12 The Parksider

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 07:15 AM

What do Bramley have besides the name?


That's the stark truth of the matter, you could have thought Stanningley could have kind of merged with them and had that proud old name, but Stanningley is also a proud old name and club.

Ah well. Nearly happened to Hunslet the other year!!

#13 Jonty

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:00 PM

My understanding is that Bramley reformed with an infrastructure that was (then) appropriate for a "pro" club - ie. it wasn't appropriate to have junior sections, and I'm certain that I remember reading that this was so that they could fit with RFL policy when they joined NL3. At the same time they didn't want to potentially damage existing junior rugby in west Leeds by doing exactly the same. It seems as though Bramley have done everything that was asked of them, as well as putting the interests of local juniors first, and unfortunately it hasn't worked out.

Think I'm along the right lines, but I'm sure Cliff or Martyn will correct me if I'm not.
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#14 The Parksider

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:39 PM

My understanding is that Bramley reformed with an infrastructure that was (then) appropriate for a "pro" club - ie. it wasn't appropriate to have junior sections, and I'm certain that I remember reading that this was so that they could fit with RFL policy when they joined NL3. At the same time they didn't want to potentially damage existing junior rugby in west Leeds by doing exactly the same. It seems as though Bramley have done everything that was asked of them, as well as putting the interests of local juniors first, and unfortunately it hasn't worked out.

Think I'm along the right lines, but I'm sure Cliff or Martyn will correct me if I'm not.


The problem with the infrastructure required for a "pro club" was that it was very basic. Buy in a team and have a ground where you can take the money. Shades of many many failed ventures......

The Villagers were not REQUIRED to have junior sections, but that's the lifeblood of any club who wants to have substance and sustainability. This is why Stanningley are moving forward with strength and Bramley are not.

I asked on here about why Bramley didn't look to set up a junior system and the answer was understandable - they would be chasing the same kids Stanningley aim at. Do that and Stanningley will boot you out.

What can I say as a part Bramley fan who has been going there since we stood on the cinder and ash banks of McLaren field to see Bram play Leeds in the cup in 1972 (ish)????

I don't want to upset anyone, but I just wonder why sometimes we cannot move on and just let the past be the past?

Give me the vibrant Hunslet Warriors and Stanningley every time before the struggle to keep the names of Hunslet and Bramley alive.

Lets shrug off this victim mentality and take the game forward.........

#15 Northern Sol

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:32 PM

Couldn't the Bramley name be kept alive as an NCL side?

Drop the pretence of returning as a semi-pro side at least in anything but the long term and build a decent community side away from Stanningley.

#16 Northern Sol

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:34 PM

What do Bramley have besides the name?


Supporters. When they reformed they played a game in front of 1,000 fans.

Obviously they don't have anything like that number every week but Bramley still do have more pulling power than most community sides.

#17 bowes

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:38 PM

Couldn't the Bramley name be kept alive as an NCL side?

Drop the pretence of returning as a semi-pro side at least in anything but the long term and build a decent community side away from Stanningley.

The only way they could is merge with Rodley Rockets but even though I'd be surprised if they met ground criteria. They wouldn't get let anywhere near if they just have one team (and not even that during the overlap with the Pennine League)

#18 Northern Sol

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:41 AM

I appreciate that they are nowhere near NCL standards but they could at least adopt them as their goal. They are in such a mess now that there is no chance of them getting into CC1.

#19 bowes

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:19 AM

The thing is I don't know where they'll play in the mean time as this year in the Yorkshire Men's League's premier division only 3 teams finished the season and 2 of those 3 have returned to winter. Even long established summer side Scarborough Pirates have joined the Hull and District League.

Yes there's Birstall and presumably Kippax to join Fryston but doesn't look convincing unless they go for the old RLC short season.

Edited by bowes, 30 September 2012 - 09:26 AM.


#20 Derwent

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:31 AM

Does anybody else not find it utterly hypocritical that amateur clubs are being criticised and/or penalised for not having satisfactory junior set-ups at the same time that the elite echelon of the game are destroying theirs to save a few quid ?




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