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Gloucestershire hoping for Golden start


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#1 John Drake

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:52 AM

Gloucestershire hoping for Golden start

Rugby League history will be made on Sunday (March 3) when University of Gloucestershire All Golds host Hemel Stags in their first ever game in the sport’s professional ranks.
The Prince of Wales Stadium, Cheltenham, will play host to the historic clash which sees both clubs aiming to get off to a perfect start as they seek to progress to the latter stages of the competition where they could test their wits against some of the sport’s oldest and most established teams.
“It’s definitely a very exciting time for the club to be going into competitive action this weekend,” said Gloucestershire All Golds player Mike Stewart.
“This is history in the making for the town, for the club and for the sport. We are determined to prove that we are worthy of our place in the league and the cup and prove our credibility as a club.
“Some people in the heartlands may not think we should be in the competition but we’re confident we can prove them wrong in the coming weeks.”
With a core group of players drawn from the university’s successful 2013 University Premier League-winning side, the All Golds will go into the Northern Rail campaign in buoyant mood and Scottish-international Stewart believes that success has been a huge boost for the players.
“Because we’re a University-owned club a lot of us have been together for a few months already playing in that competition,” he said. “We have a great team spirit and the success in that competition has been a real boost for the players.
“We’ve had some very tough training sessions during the past few months as well and the guys who are part of the university side will have plenty of match experience, so we won’t be going in to the season cold.
“We don’t think that progression from the group stages is beyond us. We have very high ambitions and we’re determined to make the biggest impact we can.
“The fairytale of the All Golds is a fantastic story so far and the next chapter begins this weekend.”

John Drake
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#2 Sir Galahad

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:22 AM

I hope they do well but I just wonder what the future is for the All Golds considering that they are, if I am not mistaken, a University team. Is this correct?
Deus vult.

#3 Gav Wilson

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

I hope they do well but I just wonder what the future is for the All Golds considering that they are, if I am not mistaken, a University team. Is this correct?


They are a University owned team yes. What do you mean when you wonder what the future is?
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#4 Sir Galahad

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:37 PM

They are a University owned team yes. What do you mean when you wonder what the future is?


As I don't know I just wonder what the future of the club is as I've no idea how it is financed and who runs it. What happens when the current crop of students graduate, will they have to get new players or are they paying semi-pros who are independent of the university? Though they are in their infancy what is the potential to develop as a fully professional club somewhere down the track?
Deus vult.

#5 West Country Eagle

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:59 AM

As I don't know I just wonder what the future of the club is as I've no idea how it is financed and who runs it. What happens when the current crop of students graduate, will they have to get new players or are they paying semi-pros who are independent of the university? Though they are in their infancy what is the potential to develop as a fully professional club somewhere down the track?


The team is mostly owned by the University, as I understand it, but there are directors who are not affiliated with the Uni (i.e from local businesses etc). The All Golds have three or four Uni sides, and the University is using the Championship 1 club to attract young players to study. This means that they should have a "conveyor belt" of talent over coming years. Not all the squad are from the Uni, though - there are a number who have been recruited from elsewhere (local RL, Tim Bergin from Sheffield, presumably one or two with union backgrounds) so the squad is a mix. I've been having a look at their 30-man squad for the season, and there are a few with previous experience (e.g with South Wales Scorpions).

It could be a massive learning curve for them, and I wouldn't expect them to pull up any trees straight away. That said, they will improve and have the basis of a decent squad. I guess it will come down to how quick they can adapt to the higher standard required at this level.
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#6 Gav Wilson

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:26 AM

As I don't know I just wonder what the future of the club is as I've no idea how it is financed and who runs it. What happens when the current crop of students graduate, will they have to get new players or are they paying semi-pros who are independent of the university? Though they are in their infancy what is the potential to develop as a fully professional club somewhere down the track?


In addition to West Country Eagle's post the whole operation is being run by Lionel Hurst, a businessman who lives and breathes Rugby League.

It is certainly an interesting and innovative way to set up a semi-pro club, but if it works out it could be really successful. I really hope it is.

:D
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#7 West Country Eagle

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:31 AM

In addition to West Country Eagle's post the whole operation is being run by Lionel Hurst, a businessman who lives and breathes Rugby League.

It is certainly an interesting and innovative way to set up a semi-pro club, but if it works out it could be really successful. I really hope it is.

:D


It could be genius, or it could become a nightmare. Certainly, there's logic in the model - the University gets good press out of it/a name around the UK (and possibly abroad in the long term), it will attract a certain number of talented players to study at the Uni, and they have a ready-made audience/crowd (the students at the Uni), if they can attract them to games with cheap deals etc. Given that they did their costings on largely developing a squad through the Uni, with one or two more experienced outsiders coming in, they should be financially stable. Obviously the Uni's mettle will be tested if they get thrashed every week, but the quality of the League they're in isn't *that* high, so it's not an unsurmountable gap.
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#8 Sir Galahad

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:34 PM

Thanks for the information. Who knows, we maybe able to encourage more teams of this nature to be set up in this way. Perhaps somewhere down the track scholarships good be offered a la American universities?
Deus vult.

#9 Fax1978

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:18 PM

Think the scholarship suggestion is an excellent idea, just not sure where the funding would come from.

#10 del capo

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:05 PM

Gav just to correct you Lionel is not in business he is a TOP CRIMINAL BARRISTER :)))))CM


Love to see your source for that info CM :) Lawyer , certainly :) :)

#11 dkw

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:22 PM

Love to see your source for that info CM :) Lawyer , certainly :) :)

B)

Good luck to Brad Hepis boys.

#12 Gav Wilson

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:01 PM


New Championship 1 side Gloucestershire All Golds have revealed their first ever squad for Sunday's Northern Rail Cup opener against Hemel Stags.

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