Your falling for the 3 card trick thinking this academy will be a good thing, we've lost two sides over the last 5 years because the service area (thats what they where called) directed all the elite players to the amateur club of the local pro clubs choice, we simply don't produce enough kids who want to play the game for this system to work and you can't rely on numbers produced from a school report, talk to people like Taxiegg.
Doncaster RLFC have lost their development officers (one is our headcoach) he has taken it on himself to do development work in the schools and I've been told he has secured some funding from the Doncaster council, our aim is to get a mini competition started based on how the RLC was run with the local primary schools and possibly a few from the surrounding villages.
Or more to the point how can amateur clubs thrive when there are so few players coming through there system, at the minute the three conference clubs and Seaton have good youth numbers everywhere else do not, I have seen the figures for kids that are playing the game on a school year basis and the issue is being addressed through the recently formed West cumbria youth steering group which is having its second meeting this Wednesday to progress things forward on the changes that need to be made, however clubs have to have a big input into that
As an example DTTRR we have less than 100 players from age 6-16 playing in Maryport across three clubs, thats a decade of players so assuming that there will be a natural drop out of players will that be enough to sustain three clubs moving forward and what can Maryport, Glasson and Ellbra do that will be for the mutual good of the game to change that? Ive long said if there isnt an end to on upsmanship in West Cumbria the game is doomed and I stand by that
As for the elite academy they are looking at 12 contracted pros every year and at 15 and 16 the scholarship figures will be 24 players taken on that albeit there is no contract etc at that age so there future is unaffected BUT if participation was what it should be in the West of the county the Elite would take care of itself at the minute there isnt the player numbers to support the academy and its putting the amateur clubs short term future in difficulties
Bottom line though clubs need to work together and get in schools and be proactive if we are going to increase the numbers of players and maybe some rules need to be amended to reflect the challenges that the game faces which is in a far unhealthier state than it was when they were drawn up
Im not sure what part of my original post led you to believe that Im thinking the academy is a good thing Marauder I have highlighted my view above and the figures that I am referring to in West Cumbria are figures that the clubs have submitted they are more than a school report as you say, due to the small population we play two year age groups and as a result we have different issues that affect participation numbers to the ones in Lancashire and Yorkshire that guys like Taxi Egg know inside and out