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The best investment the RFL/SL clubs could make is ?


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#1 Emosi Koloto

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 11:53 AM

They should jointly fund an under 20's team to play in the Holden Cup.

The benefits of having a 25 man squad competing each week at a high level would be fantastic for the development of young British players and would ensure a conveyer belt of talent filters through to the clubs and eventually the National side.


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#2 Eldujo

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 12:08 PM

I'd say investment in youth systems here rather than sending a squad down under would end up more beneficial. Think of the cost of travel, housing, feeding and generally looking after players for starters.

 

Maybe raising the limit of the U19s league to U21s or even 23s to give players more time to bloom would be better. Plus better links & investment in local youth clubs is a necessity. Whether all clubs have the funds to do this, I don't know. but it seems Warrington are making a decent stab at it as mentioned on a different thread (or could have been on Guardian's Set of Six comments)

 

It's a long way to send a bunch of kids and then expect them to bond and progress away from friends and family. Also suspect it would end up being a bigger boon to the NRL than SL as they'd be snapped up by local clubs.



#3 Dave T

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 12:14 PM

Agree with Eldujo, we should focus on upping our levels, rather than just sending a select few over to Oz.

 

Not sure what that looks like as I'm not an expert.



#4 GeordieSaint

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 02:16 PM

Maybe raising the limit of the U19s league to U21s or even 23s to give players more time to bloom would be better. Plus better links & investment in local youth clubs is a necessity.


What is the rationale behind the current youth/Academy system? Why U19s and nothing above? It doesn't make sense considering they have an U15s, U16s etc. It would make sense to me to develop players through the schools system (town rep levels against other town teams) until school leaving at 16yrs with professional coaches. Then on signing professional after school, develop players at U18s through the local college systems (again through professional coaches) before moving up into the U21s at club level. The benefits would be a reduced impact in the community game, retaining players with the education system so allowing them to build up qualifications outside of the sport, and keeping young, developing players in the game longer rather than binning them off at 19. I am sure utilising the education system would open up further funds for the game to use...

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#5 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 07:30 PM

What is the rationale behind the current youth/Academy system? Why U19s and nothing above? It doesn't make sense considering they have an U15s, U16s etc. It would make sense to me to develop players through the schools system (town rep levels against other town teams) until school leaving at 16yrs with professional coaches. Then on signing professional after school, develop players at U18s through the local college systems (again through professional coaches) before moving up into the U21s at club level. The benefits would be a reduced impact in the community game, retaining players with the education system so allowing them to build up qualifications outside of the sport, and keeping young, developing players in the game longer rather than binning them off at 19. I am sure utilising the education system would open up further funds for the game to use...

I think with the dual registration system, a lot of the older players go on to play semi pro level to kick on further, rather than U21s which was criticised for being of a low level.
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#6 The Parksider

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:17 AM

What is the rationale behind the current youth/Academy system? Why U19s and nothing above? It doesn't make sense considering they have an U15s, U16s etc. 

 

My guess is it's a practical  business decision based on costs and the return on the investment.

 

The "Costs" issue was raised the other year when dual reg became the big thing. Can we really run 14x25 U23 man squads and bear all the costs of that just in case once every ten years a "Jamie Peacock" blossoms into a RL superstar?

 

For some clubs the youth and academy system is great on licensing paper, but in reality it's a waste of time and money. As we hear recently the Wakefield Academy (rated as poor by the RFL) doesn't attract the best kids anymore, their dads take them over to Shaun Wane. Surprisingly Castleford also have a poor academy rating and Featherstones has no chance against their bigger rivals.

 

As we see once Cas have developed a player they can sell him on to Hull or Wire to help balance the books. No point in making that great an effort and as their CEO says less kids are playing anyway. These selling clubs don't want to be running U23's, what's the point?

 

Even Hull don't have a top rated academy and HKR's was bottom rated. Why run two U23's there? Why even run two academies and rip the heart out of local youth teams. As was posted when you take lads out of a youth team for the academy the team can fold, leaving even less of a junior base to raid for little return.

 

As you'd expect it's Leeds, Wigan and Saints with the only top class academies with Hull's Radford just waking up to what's needed to be amongst the top clubs rather than an ugly ninth place. Radford also says less kids are playing in Hull and it's OK having the systems but if there's no quality kids to enter the systems then it's all one big paperwork excercise to tick a box on a licensing application.

 

And there's no need to do that anymore, so clubs are more inclined than ever to leave chasing the best kids to the big Super league clubs, and just feed off the scraps. What saddens me is to see so called Super league clubs like London, Wakefield and Bradford (city clubs) happy to act like championship clubs and take loan players from such as Leeds acting as a nursery for Leeds older players.

 

City club Salford were also rated "weak" academy wise, how can they run an effective system (or leigh or Widnes) when the Scouts of Wigan, Wire and Saints can come knocking at the door of what few local junior clubs these towns have? Marwan thinks it better for salford to get a marquee player system going so he can at least outbid the others once.

 

The only conclusion I can come to is in time the "current youth/academy system"  will far from grow, but actually shrink and be based mainly amongst the big clubs in the forthcoming top eight. Given the tremendous correlation between a successful and well financed academy and sitting in the upper reaches of superleague every year I think that any club who gives up their academy can kiss goodbye to ever competing seriously for honours.


Edited by The Parksider, 10 July 2014 - 08:29 AM.


#7 LordCharles

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:18 AM

Investing in player development is the key, however the RFL's Performance department are way off key with recent proposals to categorise academies and scholarships.

 

Why they just cannot take a simple approach as outlined below is beyond me?

 

 

SL Club Scholarships

 

Consisting of squads of 30 players from U15's and U16's (20 x U16's & 10 x U15's)

 

These players are taken out of the Community game altogether and train, play and develop within a pro environment for a full season or two.

 

Training twice a week at their Scholarship club without any other rugby league distractions, being fully supported by the staff, systems and facilities the pro clubs have and also competing in a standalone competition run by the RFL with the sole aim of developing these young atheles that have been identified as being of the required standard to be part of the talent pathway at that particular stage.

 

Everybody would know where they stand, ie Pro clubs, Community Clubs, Players, Coaches, RFL etc etc and it would eleviate the chaos and disruption we currently have within the Community game at these age groups.

 

SL Academies - U18's & U21's

 

Again squads of 30 as a maximum and these players are taken out of the Community game altogether, training at their Pro club without any other rugby league distractions, being fully supported by the staff, systems and facilities the pro clubs have and also competing in a standalone competition run by the RFL with the sole aim of developing these young atheles that have been identified as being of the required standard to be part of the talent pathway at that particular stage.

 

Once the U21's have reached the age of 20/21 and can no longer play at that level they are either given a SL Contract or released. 

 

At the end of each season a list of all U21's that are to be released from SL Academies are circulated by the RFL to all Championship Clubs who can then approach these players to sign them in the first instance for Championship U23's or Championship 1st grade competition.

 

** No Dual Reg system at Scholarship and Academy Level **

 

The only reason we have Dual registration is because the Pro clubs will not nail their colours to the mast with every player they bring in to the talent pathway under first grade and that in my opinion is a massive failing. They snap up certain players and then effectively fill any remaining shirts at the lowest financial cost with players who can do a job, rather than players they see as future SL players who they are prepared to invest the time, money and resources in.

 

If you identify players who you want within any talent pathway then they ALL need to be genuinely considered as having the potential of being future professional players who are given the courtesy of being developed for a full season within a pro environment, not a dual registration peice of meat that plays in an Amateur competition one week and pro competition the next because the pro clubs just need numbers to fill shirts at that level.

 

** The players have committed to the game and the pro clubs, so the pro clubs and RFL should commit to the players throughout an agreed contractual term **

 

Championship U23's 

 

Maximum squads of 30 players - NO DUAL REG!!!!!

 

Championship clubs to run U23's competition only, no scholarships or academies!!!!

 

This would free up financial resources and allow players who at 20/21 that are still not quite up to SL level an opportunity to continue with their development within a professional environment and competition. If after a further two years of development within a this environment no Pro contract was forthcoming then these players can return to the Community game.

 

We know certain players take longer to develop than others, investing in this model and keeping players within the talent pathway under this system will see a higher number of players developed within a pro environment for longer, as a result it is likely to produce a higher calibre of home grown player for the professional competition.

 

So folks that is the best investment the Pro clubs and RFL could make, but you try telling them to spend their cash, commit to it long term and be patient if they want to develop the sport at the top end.

 

I'll gaurantee you this.........we will have some basketball ace in the RFL Performance department will tell you that it just won't work!!!


Edited by LordCharles, 10 July 2014 - 08:35 AM.


#8 JM2010

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:45 AM

i think investing in grass roots to get more children/young people playing the game would be the best investment. i do agree that clubs need well run academies and youth teams but the only way to produce more high quality players would be to increase the player pool.



#9 LordCharles

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:18 AM

i think investing in grass roots to get more children/young people playing the game would be the best investment. i do agree that clubs need well run academies and youth teams but the only way to produce more high quality players would be to increase the player pool.

 

I agree entirely, but no point have a huge player pool if you are going to massively cock it up from U15's onwards or you get what we have now, apathy and players, coaches and clubs completely disillusioned with the whole scenario.



#10 zorquif

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:47 AM

How much does running an academy cost? Given that lots of local clubs have youth teams?

 

What would the minimum input have to be in order to run an academy - as in what do you actually need?



#11 nadera78

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:03 AM

What is the rationale behind the current youth/Academy system? Why U19s and nothing above? It doesn't make sense considering they have an U15s, U16s etc. It would make sense to me to develop players through the schools system (town rep levels against other town teams) until school leaving at 16yrs with professional coaches. Then on signing professional after school, develop players at U18s through the local college systems (again through professional coaches) before moving up into the U21s at club level. The benefits would be a reduced impact in the community game, retaining players with the education system so allowing them to build up qualifications outside of the sport, and keeping young, developing players in the game longer rather than binning them off at 19. I am sure utilising the education system would open up further funds for the game to use...

I'd either do something like this, or I'd take responsibility away from the clubs and have 8 RFL-funded academies across the country. The money would be taken out of the SL clubs' funding, but with only 8 to fund there would actually be savings for the game as a whole. By hot-housing the very best players and putting them with the best coaches and facilities I think we'd have a better conversion rate. At the same time we'd be helping the community game by not removing so many players who have no chance of ever making a career in the game and are almost always lost to the game once let go by their academy. There would, of course, be an annual draft as players graduate.

 

That said, this model really works best within a licensed league (which we'll probably go back to within five years) and it would also upset clubs like Wigan, Sts, Leeds and Wire.


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#12 nadera78

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:04 AM

How much does running an academy cost? Given that lots of local clubs have youth teams?

 

What would the minimum input have to be in order to run an academy - as in what do you actually need?

100K apparently. So was said when this was all debated when the changes came in.


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#13 The Parksider

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:18 PM

i think investing in grass roots to get more children/young people playing the game would be the best investment. i do agree that clubs need well run academies and youth teams but the only way to produce more high quality players would be to increase the player pool.

 

Which Leeds have been doing because your spot on.

 

If raiding a team for several players to put into an academy system makes that team fold as has been said then the player pool goes down, and there's no team left for new players to join.



#14 The Parksider

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:33 PM

I'd either do something like this, or I'd take responsibility away from the clubs and have 8 RFL-funded academies across the country. The money would be taken out of the SL clubs' funding, but with only 8 to fund there would actually be savings for the game as a whole. By hot-housing the very best players and putting them with the best coaches and facilities I think we'd have a better conversion rate. At the same time we'd be helping the community game by not removing so many players who have no chance of ever making a career in the game and are almost always lost to the game once let go by their academy. There would, of course, be an annual draft as players graduate.

 

That said, this model really works best within a licensed league (which we'll probably go back to within five years) and it would also upset clubs like Wigan, Sts, Leeds and Wire.

 

Great post, but I cannot see as you say the big clubs letting go of their academies who mainly consist of kids who love playing the game and want to play for their local big club, and who make the difference when getting the best value in a salary capped sport. 

 

I can see academies being gently dropped, ignored and underfunded where they are not working and not necessary for a license any more. So I think that the number of academies will drop and has to drop as the participation drops amongst kids.

 

The big clubs seem to inspire the most kids teams to form and kids to play, and so again the system has to include the big clubs. Leeds kids want to be Rhinos in the main.

 

As you say in five years we may be back to hand picking clubs for a smaller still top league and requiring proper academies at those clubs, not just an academy policy, but as has been said above a policy for getting kids playing in the first place is essential.

 

Unless the regional academies (cumbria, NE, Midlands, London) inexplicably start to churn out the numbers which I doubt very much.



#15 zorquif

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:47 PM

100K apparently. So was said when this was all debated when the changes came in.

 

What I meant, more for my interest, is what is it that you have to buy with this 100k?



#16 redjonn

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:35 PM

Invest in a top talent CEO that can put in the right structure to drive game forward but with emphasis on a top class marketing department within which is people that also understand the changing landscape of TV and digital media world going forward.

 

The rest will flow from that....



#17 keighley

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:04 PM

My guess is it's a practical  business decision based on costs and the return on the investment.

 

The "Costs" issue was raised the other year when dual reg became the big thing. Can we really run 14x25 U23 man squads and bear all the costs of that just in case once every ten years a "Jamie Peacock" blossoms into a RL superstar?

 

For some clubs the youth and academy system is great on licensing paper, but in reality it's a waste of time and money. As we hear recently the Wakefield Academy (rated as poor by the RFL) doesn't attract the best kids anymore, their dads take them over to Shaun Wane. Surprisingly Castleford also have a poor academy rating and Featherstones has no chance against their bigger rivals.

 

As we see once Cas have developed a player they can sell him on to Hull or Wire to help balance the books. No point in making that great an effort and as their CEO says less kids are playing anyway. These selling clubs don't want to be running U23's, what's the point?

 

Even Hull don't have a top rated academy and HKR's was bottom rated. Why run two U23's there? Why even run two academies and rip the heart out of local youth teams. As was posted when you take lads out of a youth team for the academy the team can fold, leaving even less of a junior base to raid for little return.

 

As you'd expect it's Leeds, Wigan and Saints with the only top class academies with Hull's Radford just waking up to what's needed to be amongst the top clubs rather than an ugly ninth place. Radford also says less kids are playing in Hull and it's OK having the systems but if there's no quality kids to enter the systems then it's all one big paperwork excercise to tick a box on a licensing application.

 

And there's no need to do that anymore, so clubs are more inclined than ever to leave chasing the best kids to the big Super league clubs, and just feed off the scraps. What saddens me is to see so called Super league clubs like London, Wakefield and Bradford (city clubs) happy to act like championship clubs and take loan players from such as Leeds acting as a nursery for Leeds older players.

 

City club Salford were also rated "weak" academy wise, how can they run an effective system (or leigh or Widnes) when the Scouts of Wigan, Wire and Saints can come knocking at the door of what few local junior clubs these towns have? Marwan thinks it better for salford to get a marquee player system going so he can at least outbid the others once.

 

The only conclusion I can come to is in time the "current youth/academy system"  will far from grow, but actually shrink and be based mainly amongst the big clubs in the forthcoming top eight. Given the tremendous correlation between a successful and well financed academy and sitting in the upper reaches of superleague every year I think that any club who gives up their academy can kiss goodbye to ever competing seriously for honours.

 

The bottom line and what is critical is that fewer kids are playing the game. Long before we get to SL academies or otherwise, the supply of players is being drastically reduced. resources need to be put into youth player development and to helping the amateur clubs who produce these players long before the priority is placed on SL academies and the like.

 

If kids don't take up the game, there will be no game.,



#18 JohnM

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:25 PM

Whys would any kid want to play rugby league compared to say wanting to play union, soccer, tennis, athletics, hockey all types, crikit? It seems to me that unless there is something to attract youngsters over and above the competition, grass roots development , though important, is just not enough.

#19 Eldujo

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 04:49 PM

Whys would any kid want to play rugby league compared to say wanting to play union, soccer, tennis, athletics, hockey all types, crikit? It seems to me that unless there is something to attract youngsters over and above the competition, grass roots development , though important, is just not enough.

I'd say because it's fun to play stuff like tag rugby at a young age and pretty much anyone can play a part. You're not necessarily worrying about career progression and dreaming of turning out at Wembley when you're having a kickabout on the park or playing junior soccer. I know I wasn't at least. I did it because it was a good laugh and my mates played too.

 

Once you get a little older then that may play a part but if you've already got a love for the game and have shown a bit of talent then I reckon there's more chance of you sticking with it.

 

Having watched some of the kiddie games at half time in SL/Championship, it's good to see that they all seem to get a turn carrying the ball and you rarely see any of them run off without a smile on their faces. That's not to say other sports aren't equally accessible and enjoyable but RL does look like a hoot for the young uns and it's a shame we never had anything like that around where I live when I was their age.

 

I agree with what you said earlier about a visionary CEO type but think the bottom of the game needs just as much attention as the top.



#20 Blind side johnny

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:27 PM

My guess is it's a practical  business decision based on costs and the return on the investment.

 

The "Costs" issue was raised the other year when dual reg became the big thing. Can we really run 14x25 U23 man squads and bear all the costs of that just in case once every ten years a "Jamie Peacock" blossoms into a RL superstar?

 

For some clubs the youth and academy system is great on licensing paper, but in reality it's a waste of time and money. As we hear recently the Wakefield Academy (rated as poor by the RFL) doesn't attract the best kids anymore, their dads take them over to Shaun Wane. Surprisingly Castleford also have a poor academy rating and Featherstones has no chance against their bigger rivals.

 

As we see once Cas have developed a player they can sell him on to Hull or Wire to help balance the books. No point in making that great an effort and as their CEO says less kids are playing anyway. These selling clubs don't want to be running U23's, what's the point?

 

Even Hull don't have a top rated academy and HKR's was bottom rated. Why run two U23's there? Why even run two academies and rip the heart out of local youth teams. As was posted when you take lads out of a youth team for the academy the team can fold, leaving even less of a junior base to raid for little return.

 

As you'd expect it's Leeds, Wigan and Saints with the only top class academies with Hull's Radford just waking up to what's needed to be amongst the top clubs rather than an ugly ninth place. Radford also says less kids are playing in Hull and it's OK having the systems but if there's no quality kids to enter the systems then it's all one big paperwork excercise to tick a box on a licensing application.

 

And there's no need to do that anymore, so clubs are more inclined than ever to leave chasing the best kids to the big Super league clubs, and just feed off the scraps. What saddens me is to see so called Super league clubs like London, Wakefield and Bradford (city clubs) happy to act like championship clubs and take loan players from such as Leeds acting as a nursery for Leeds older players.

 

City club Salford were also rated "weak" academy wise, how can they run an effective system (or leigh or Widnes) when the Scouts of Wigan, Wire and Saints can come knocking at the door of what few local junior clubs these towns have? Marwan thinks it better for salford to get a marquee player system going so he can at least outbid the others once.

 

The only conclusion I can come to is in time the "current youth/academy system"  will far from grow, but actually shrink and be based mainly amongst the big clubs in the forthcoming top eight. Given the tremendous correlation between a successful and well financed academy and sitting in the upper reaches of superleague every year I think that any club who gives up their academy can kiss goodbye to ever competing seriously for honours.

 

 

I know that I'm a throwback but, to my mind the only reason that we introduced academies was to ape the Australian system. What was wrong with developing players through the A team as used to suffice in the past? Tinkering with the academy systems has resulted in no gains and a severely negative impact upon the Championship through the introduction of dual registration, purely to the benefit (if any) of SL clubs.


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