Actually, the M62 made a huge difference to player mobility. Pre M62, players tended to play for local clubs largely because they couldn't travel far to training after work.
By 1980 the delayed eastbound M62 heading to Hull was in place so it made it easy for Hull.F.C. to sign up all the best players from Fev, Wakefield and Castleford - and what a list!! and create artificially a second successful top tier club in Hull.
The journey would have been quick, would have been easy to share, and comfortable on a largely empty big straight road with the boulevard the right side of Hull to get to. I don't think the above will happen again.
That players will travel for their career means that if Featherstone or Sheffield do find a crackerjack locally they will simply lose them to a local Super league club. It does seem like a bashing your head against the wall excersise.
The next Zac may sign on locally AT FIRST because his mates also did, but many ambitious players may well just go straight to the local SL club and my gawd pick any one of FIVE within a car ride of Fev never mind that journey travelled by Toppo, Knocker etc all those 30 years ago.
So why open an academy in the CC's?
Because there are several boxes to tick if you want to get into Superleague that's why. This is one of them.
OK OK someone may say stuff like "we are doing this because we believe in RL and we want to be at the forefront of developing the game (and we are proud to have supplied Leeds with Zac Hardaker) etc"
But it's there primarily as a key to SL entry, and what a costly key it is. Conversely Hunslet are sharing Leeds Academy.
Stark contrasts indeed......