Obviously the two are interlinked to a certain extent but for me the major factor is the quality of coaching a player receives.
A players skill set, game awareness and to a lesser extent, physical attributes have to be coached to maximise full potential. The days when natural talent alone could take you to the top of our sport ended when the 1982 Aussie tourists flew home. Increasing the player pool gives you a greater chance of finding more potential "star" players but they will still need to be taken that next step through good education.
I don't follow the Academy scene as closely as others on here, but the impression I get is that certain coaches felt the U20's was a poor league with cricket scores being run up on a regular basis. I read last season a number of coaches making comments that "x player would be better on dual registration with a Championship club as the standard is higher than the U20's". Rather than abolish 2 age groups, should the RFL not be looking at ways to intensify junior development and help clubs raise standards?
Can we say that a young British player who signs for a SL club at 14 and goes through the age groups until he was 20 would become the same player if he did exactly the same time at an NRL club? Are we giving our stars of tomorrow a fair crack. If not how are we ever going to compete internationally?
All fair points and you clearly know more than me on this.
I do hear a lot of people say that most pro players can be coached to a certain high standard of fitness and basic skills.
They say all SL players are coached thus. Wether the coaching is better in Australia I do not know but suspect in a bigger and better game it probably is.
They say what we lack is something more than regimented coaching and training. That being the natural skills of the individual players.
They end up making the difference, there being something you just cannot coach into a player.
We end up with teams of professional players who largely cancel each other out, but if you have a Burrow, a Brough, a McGuire, a Tomkins, a Roby, a Briers, etc these lads make the difference.
I guess Australia have more of these sort of players than us and better ones too as the likes of Sam and Danny don't look so great against their Aussie equivalents.
Such players are one in a thousand?
So when you don't have that many thousand playing..............
Edited by The Parksider, 11 November 2012 - 12:36 PM.