At Hemel, we are all conscious that semi-pro rugby league is tough both on and off the field. In the first two seasons we reached the playoffs - not too difficult to do as it was a genuine development league with only three M62 clubs. In 2013 we beat both promoted clubs.The change to a performance based league this season with more stronger clubs, more matches, no blank weekends for recovery etc has been catastrophic for all the southern clubs.
However, the new playing structure for 2016 agreed by the League 1 clubs last week will help alleviate some of those problems.
The big issue of the lack of a talent pool - which will only be made worse by the arrival of a Super League reserve grade and the virtual disappearance of dual-reg - still needs addressing. For an extremely accurate view on the playing challenges have a look at the interview with Hemel's Troy Perkins in last week's League Express. At least at Hemel (and Skolars) we have access to the London Junior League which is a proven producer of decent players given that there is a strucure for them to stay in the game post 16 years.
Should Hemel be in League 1? Given the infrastructure we have at Hemel it's the right place for us to be as there really is no realistic alternative in the sport.