Good afternoon all. I thought I'd wade in to this one.
I don't live in Wakefield, Featherstone or Castleford. I live in the Midlands and have done for a number of years. I lived in Wakefield for the first 25 years of my life, and I am a Wakefield Trinity supporter.
During that time I had no reason to visit either Castleford or Featherstone, unless it was to watch or play Rugby League. I'll centre my point on Castleford more than Featherstone from herein, I doubt very much whether anyone from Castleford visits Wakefield too often unless it's for administrative reasons, maybe attend Wakefield College for a couple of years or very occasionally to go to the shops (unless their work takes them there of course). People from Castleford will surely be far more likely to go in to Leeds, it's bigger and probably more convenient for them to do so. If Cas are to merge, why would it not be with Leeds? Clearly that's silly, but there's more of a link there than there is between Cas and Wakefield. Please note that the Ski-slope at Castleford is called Xscape Leeds, not Xscape Castleford, or Xscape Wakefield MDC.
Castleford is part of Wakefield MDC, but I think that this is only since a bizarre boundary change decision in the 1970s. There is not only a significant distance and wide open green spaces between the two places, but culturally they are miles apart. There is little or no interaction between the places, Cas has enough infrastructure for people to do the family shop, get their entertainment etc to stand alone – not from Wakefield but as a stand alone town it it's own right. It has little to attract others to the town from Wakefield, and that is said with no disrespect at all, but Wakefield is a bigger place with it's own amenities in easier reach of other centres of population that the stop/start A-Road to Cas.
Featherstone Rovers are fiercely independent. They are in a way a model to follow, their sons and daughters move away and still flock home and are still Featherstone people when it comes to Rugby League. Other clubs need to tap into this, and discover what breeds the loyalty. Featherstone is a bit of an enigma, it's a very small bordered on the historic but ultimately small town of Pontefract but yet it still supports a professional side - one that is growing in what are tough times. I would think that people from Featherstone have more reason to visit Wakefield, or indeed Castleford as part of their weekly lives, but to suggest that they should be swallowed up by a Calder team is daft as any link to those centres of population is I suspect functional rather than through any cultural sense of belonging.
I wouldn't dream of commenting that St Helens, Wigan, Leigh should form one team as I have no concept of the culture and links between the places, the same applies for Oldham, Rochdale, Swinton and Salford. I also have no view on what the land between the sites is like, and it's suitability to be the home of a new stadium, but I see that isn't a barrier for people from outside of Wakefield, Featherstone and Castleford to write some wasted words based on ignorance. If it's good enough for Barrie Mac on Sky then why not for posters on here?
Long live Wakefield Trinity, Featherstone Rovers and Castleford. I can think of no circumstances where a merged entity could garner support and be a success. However it's worth noting that in Wakefield's darkest hour shareholders did vote to consider a merger, a point somehow missed in all these pages of nonsense.
Finally to address the point that the “entrenched views” that are held by people supporting the three existing clubs are not the future support of the game, then think on. My son loves Wakefield Trinity, I took him to one game and he's talked about nothing else since. I purposely didn't buy him a kit at first to brand him a supporter, but he loved the singing, the noise and the action. Much to my disappointment he loved Daddy Cool the Wakefield mascot. He was made very welcome at the club, as he always is at Coventry Bears, Leicester Storm, and most recently at NEW Ravens when I took him to see the World Cup. Why would we want to take away any of these clubs? What happens if Coventry and Leicester get quite big - will we see a call for Hinckley to be formed? I'm pretty sure that at four years old he's already hooked. He likes going with me, he likes going with his grandparents. Added to this I reckon I've got about 40-50 years on this earth, so to say I'm not the future support of my club is taking a VERY long term view.
The argument is as tired as any I have read on here. Please stop it folks, and instead of trying to stamp the game in to the dirt, lets try and make a success of what we have and get back talking about the game itself. What's wrong with enjoying a bit of Rugby League instead of having a good old moan?
I'm quite pleased that I managed to write all that without mentioning carpet-bombing, asking Frank about his obsession with the bogs at Rugby League grounds, calling anyone a plank, or referring to Terry M as “mi old mate”. I hope you're all well. Sorry for the ramble, it's been quite a while.
Edited by Larry the Leit, 23 April 2013 - 01:43 PM.