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Another mess at academy level thanks to the clubs and RFL


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#1 Lounge Room Lizard

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:28 AM

Once again another fine mess. Championship clubs have been told there would be an U23s comp and so sign both players and coaches for it. Now have been told its not going ahead! So what do clubs do now? Are the contracts they have signed do they have to honour them? The clubs unwillingness to run a reserve/u23 team is once again short sightedness. But the RFL should be TELLING clubs they MUST run a reserve/u23 team. Clubs dont need to spend so much on the first team and also not rely so much on all their future players being SL castoffs. What happens to fringe players or players coming back from injury? How do they get/keep match fit? The likes of Halifax, Featherstone etc want to bring through there own local lads rather than just sign players not wanted by SL. Karl Harrison as has Daryll Powell and others have made some valid points about the whole mess the game is in at academy level and the scraping of certain age groups,
I would see it that the 3 Championship clubs join the SL U19s comp and be allowed to play the U23 players they have for the season. Then maybe look in to making all Championship clubs run with a reserve/u23 team from next season
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Edited by Lounge Room Lizard, 15 December 2012 - 10:31 AM.


#2 RLDave

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:37 AM

Karl uses the word "Pathetic" in that article. It couldn't be summed up any better than that. There were enough teams there to run some kind of competition instead of scrapping it altogether.
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#3 bowes

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:22 AM

The RFL are not at fault here. They planned for a league and only 4 sides entered so they had to scrap it. They're working on letting clubs field fringe players in the amateur ranks but those leagues have to agree first. The Conference South has already agreed to it and has London Skolars A and Sheffield Hallam in it.

The thing IMO the RFL have done wrong is create an unwanted U20 league. They should have stuck with Featherstone and Sheffield having U19 sides in the SL academy and let Halifax enter if they wish.

#4 marklaspalmas

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:40 AM

This is appalling. Last year Fev (and to my knowledge only Sheffield of the other Champiosnhip clubs) were jumping through all the hoops required by the RFL for junior development.

This involved running u15 scholarhsip, u16 scholarship, u18 academy and u23 reserves teams. SL clubs dropped their u18s and u20s in a purely cost-cutting move (embarrassing in itself). Given that information that was known some time ago, the RFL have finally got round to thinking about Championship clubs, and have barred them from the SL only u19s league (why?) and created an u20 league because there's not enough clubs to run u23.

Which clubs will run u20s? A lot of CC and CC1 clubs have been running one team. No reserves and no juniors. Will they now all have to run an u20s team? What are FEv, Fax, Sheff, etc supposed to do with their 20 to 23 year olds that have been contracted for 2013 but are not yet first teamers?

Bowes, I think you're letting the RFL off lightly here. Firstly they should never have allowed CC clubs to simply opt out of the u23 league and run it down to just 6 sides. Now their solution does not solve anything or most importantly aid junior development.

It's a very disappointing situation, and it's a very poor show to see these measures (and I include the SL/CC link ups in this) being dressed up as postive moves when they are nothing more than cost-cutting ventures. Talking up a significant reduction in playing numbers as 'great for the game and great for the clubs' is just wrong.

 

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#5 tim2

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:42 AM

If the clubs are forced to run reserves they will just raid the amateur game for players who have no chance of playing in the Championship just to make up the numbers. The amateur game has enough issues with pro clubs without having them take their best players for a meaningless and unwanted competition.
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#6 Lounge Room Lizard

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:51 AM

The clubs are at fault as usual. Clubs will do anything which saves them money and hassle even though its not good for the game. CLubs think short term. I think its sad that clubs just dont see the benefits on running a reserve grade/U23. The Championship Clubs will allegedly be saving some money by linking in with SL Clubs. Why not run a reserve side for Fringe players and players returing from injury? A quality player maybe is out for 6-8 weeks would you risk him playing first grade in his first game back? As a coach I would rather give him half a match or something in reserve grade and see how he goes physically and mentally. But the clubs dont see this and would rather save money and spend it on getting an allegedly better standard player.

My point about the RFL is they run the comps and as such have the right to insist clubs run a reserve grade or academy teams etc. But the RFL run the Championships and should insist that clubs run a reserve grade/U23 at that level. .The RFL should warn clubs that if they cant afford/wont then they can play in Championship 1.. The RFL needs to be the one looking at the bigger picture and not just going along with clubs decisions. Such decisions by clubs damages the game. DO we want to improve standards across the board or just do the bare minimum?

#7 marklaspalmas

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:52 AM

If the clubs are forced to run reserves they will just raid the amateur game for players who have no chance of playing in the Championship just to make up the numbers. The amateur game has enough issues with pro clubs without having them take their best players for a meaningless and unwanted competition.


Is that what Fev and Fax and Sheffield did?

We're talking about an u23 league.

We're talking about any structure whatsoever below the first 17 at professional rugby league clubs.

Come on, it's not that hard.

 

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#8 oldrover

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:57 AM

The clubs are at fault as usual. Clubs will do anything which saves them money and hassle even though its not good for the game. CLubs think short term. I think its sad that clubs just dont see the benefits on running a reserve grade/U23. The Championship Clubs will allegedly be saving some money by linking in with SL Clubs. Why not run a reserve side for Fringe players and players returing from injury? A quality player maybe is out for 6-8 weeks would you risk him playing first grade in his first game back? As a coach I would rather give him half a match or something in reserve grade and see how he goes physically and mentally. But the clubs dont see this and would rather save money and spend it on getting an allegedly better standard player.

My point about the RFL is they run the comps and as such have the right to insist clubs run a reserve grade or academy teams etc. But the RFL run the Championships and should insist that clubs run a reserve grade/U23 at that level. .The RFL should warn clubs that if they cant afford/wont then they can play in Championship 1.. The RFL needs to be the one looking at the bigger picture and not just going along with clubs decisions. Such decisions by clubs damages the game. DO we want to improve standards across the board or just do the bare minimum?

completely agree. the tail is wagging the dog here.
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#9 Lounge Room Lizard

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:01 PM

If the clubs are forced to run reserves they will just raid the amateur game for players who have no chance of playing in the Championship just to make up the numbers. The amateur game has enough issues with pro clubs without having them take their best players for a meaningless and unwanted competition.


Again the RFL should get the amateur and Pro both SL and Championship and C1 around the tabel and find ways that benefits everybody. The way the amateur clubs are treated by the Pro game is in my opinion a disgrace with no respect for what they do. Maybe there should be a charter for any player who signs or plays for any pro club. Maybe such things like every time an amateur player is played in any game the Pro club has to give x amount of cash depending which Pro level they are at to the amateur team. Once he signs the amateur team should be giving a minimum cash level depending on whether its SL, Championship and Championship 1. Its not all about money but also how the Pro clubs and game treat the amateur clubs in general. Maybe amateur clubs should be asked what do they need from the Pro game. Could the Pro Clubs/game help with training or purchasing certain training gear even if second hand? I am sure their are other things. But right now we have so many fractions in the game and each one damaging the others with their decisions. For me the RFL as a governing body, needs to get them more closer together and helping the game as a whole not just certain sections making decisions and the RFL seemingly just going along wth it.

#10 bowes

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:10 PM

Is that what Fev and Fax and Sheffield did?

We're talking about an u23 league.

We're talking about any structure whatsoever below the first 17 at professional rugby league clubs.

Come on, it's not that hard.

Basically yes on the first point. Featherstone Lions and Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks are a shadow of their former selves and North Derbyshire Chargers briefly folded at open age level when they got raided for Sheffield U23.

#11 tim2

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:14 PM

The idea of pro clubs spending even more money to get players, when they can't afford what they've got now, is probably not going to fly.

There are a very small number of clubs (4 perhaps) who are being squeezed here. you could argue that the other CC clubs have accepted the situation and are rolling with the punches that Sheffield, Fax and Fev are taking on the chin. I look at the bottom of the SL and I see 3 or 4 clubs who are no better than these. Realistically there are 3 bands - the clubs that can sustain fully-pro, teh ones who think they can and the ones who never will.

The gap betwen the Championship and last year's U23 league is massive. 90% of the players who turned out for Sheffield last year would have had better quality, more regular, rugby by playing in the NCL. The bottom line, and I'll bang on about this again, is that we just don't have enough players, full stop. All these issues stem from that obvious fact. Any number of short term fixes just make things worse. Time to get more U10s playing and get in for the long haul.

By the way, the Chargers Open Age didn't fold beacuse of players going to the Eagles, it was just one factor.
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#12 marklaspalmas

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:48 PM

I don't know. I do know you two (bowes and tim2) know plenty about these issues, but you're making it sound like like the right thing to do is for all clubs below SL level to just give up and run a first team 17 (stocked with the unwanted squad men from another club) and nothing else. That can't be right. The levels of coaching that kids are getting at Fev Rovers is excellent. That will benefit the LIons as players filter through. Are there really only four clubs outside of SL prepared to do something more than nothing towards player development?

 

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#13 bowes

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:06 PM

What should happen is Featherstone Rovers and Featherstone Lions should work together on junior development and Featherstone Lions can get fringe Rovers players. What currently happens is Featherstone Rovers play their U23 in a tiny league where they hammer everyone and Featherstone Lions struggle to raise a team because Rovers run U23s

#14 marklaspalmas

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

What should happen is Featherstone Rovers and Featherstone Lions should work together on junior development and Featherstone Lions can get fringe Rovers players. What currently happens is Featherstone Rovers play their U23 in a tiny league where they hammer everyone and Featherstone Lions struggle to raise a team because Rovers run U23s


Im sure they do work together and have done for a long time. Lions have always had fringe Rovers players and the fact that it appears they may not be able to next year is due to NCL restrictions not a lack of co-operation between clubs. As for the uncompetitivesness of the u23 league, you can hardly blame Rovers for that. They were one of the very few clubs taking it seriously. Again, RFL regulations obliging CC clubs to put some work in would've helped.

 

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#15 bowes

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:37 PM

The NCL would collapse if Championship clubs all set up U23 teams and the Championship clubs would struggle financially. You can't run a league for the benefit of 4 clubs.

#16 Lounge Room Lizard

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

In my opinion the RFL should never have wasted money on Crusaders, Bradford or any pro team. If they cant sort themselves out with all the money they have had via various sources thats tough. They can rebuild in the championship or Championship 1. The RFL should be investing as much time and money in to grassroots and development rugby. I can never understand why people seem to think SL should be given so much time and money from the RFL when the rest of the game is so much in need of it. SL has millions from Sky plus more millions via other areas. If they cant make ends meet then thats something for them to sort out not the RFL. I was angry the RFL gave Crusaders so much money and help when it was clear the problems were there even before they entered SL. Players were owed money even before this time so why did they end up in SL? And its not right for me that the RFL step in and take over the leese on grounds at Bradford, Keighley etc. That money is so badly needed in the development and supporting of the amateur games. The less clubs and people we have then the standards drop and less quality youngsters. The less people involved in our game. Anybody involved in development knows how tough and hard it is and any support is welcome. It doesnt have to be a financial one neither but making sure a competition is of a decent standard and that teams do not have to travel so far.
The stonger the foundation at the bottom and the more players and clubs playing then it strengthens the whole game. At the moment everything is top heavy and its the main reason in my opinion why we are in such a mess as a game. The Midlands League for example has been a fantastic success but it like other areas needs more investment and more help from the RFL and other parts of the game to keep progressing. Once it stands still then its going backwards. And like Tim said the investment at U10s and development of the game with kids is vital for the future. Sadly some posters on here only see SL and dont see the other areas of the game that need the money and help that SL clubs have received from the RFL.

#17 The Parksider

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 03:42 PM

Sadly some posters on here only see SL and dont see the other areas of the game that need the money and help that SL clubs have received from the RFL.


Whats looking like a general opinion beyond those who have a personal distaste for SL is that without it you won't get adult organisers and junior players wanting to bother with RL.

#18 The Parksider

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 03:49 PM

The idea of pro clubs spending even more money to get players, when they can't afford what they've got now, is probably not going to fly.

There are a very small number of clubs (4 perhaps) who are being squeezed here. you could argue that the other CC clubs have accepted the situation and are rolling with the punches that Sheffield, Fax and Fev are taking on the chin. I look at the bottom of the SL and I see 3 or 4 clubs who are no better than these. Realistically there are 3 bands - the clubs that can sustain fully-pro, teh ones who think they can and the ones who never will.

The gap betwen the Championship and last year's U23 league is massive. 90% of the players who turned out for Sheffield last year would have had better quality, more regular, rugby by playing in the NCL. The bottom line, and I'll bang on about this again, is that we just don't have enough players, full stop.


Great post.

It needs those clubs who genuinely want to be SL clubs and all that goes with that being in SL and those that don't surviving as best they can.

I am not sure the figure is 4. Certainly Fev and Sheffield want to be SL clubs that develop players. As you say in summary the game needs more players.

But in any case a 16 club SL with a smaller salary cap may well sort this out, as may the demise of a couple of SL clubs who may not be able to hack it even at a lower salary cap.

Get the 3 bands you speak of down to two.

Get more pro clubs who can stimulate more kids to play and adults to help.

#19 Railway End

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 04:07 PM

But in any case a 16 club SL with a smaller salary cap may well sort this out, as may the demise of a couple of SL clubs who may not be able to hack it even at a lower salary cap.


Not a bad idea in terms of our elite league but without Fev, Fax, Leigh & Sheffield the Championships would suffer badly without the support of these clubs. It would make the pyramid even more "top heavy" which in the long term can't be a good thing.

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#20 marklaspalmas

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 04:30 PM

The NCL would collapse if Championship clubs all set up U23 teams and the Championship clubs would struggle financially. You can't run a league for the benefit of 4 clubs.


A league which two years ago was about 13 clubs and has been allowed to rot.

Is the NCL really built on 21 and 22 years olds who came through the academy system of pro' clubs? If not, how would it collapse?

And once again, the question which no-one seems to want to answer:

Are we all happy with the loud and clear message from the RFL that 23 semi-professional RL clubs outside SL have to do nothing whatsoever in terms of player development??

Just pack in all your teams expect your first team and sit back and live off SL scraps??

 

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