- thunderpete likes this
- TotalRL.com Rugby League Forums
- → Viewing Profile: Likes: ThunderArmy
ThunderArmyMember Since 20 Mar 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 01:25 AM
- Group Coach
- Active Posts 313
- Profile Views 2,447
- Age Age Unknown
- Birthday Birthday Unknown
ThunderArmy hasn't added any friends yet.
Posted by ThunderArmy on 22 January 2015 - 02:32 AM
Posted by ThunderArmy on 09 January 2015 - 06:45 PM
- rocketman likes this
Posted by ThunderArmy on 30 December 2014 - 10:11 AM
Posted by ThunderArmy on 24 December 2014 - 12:58 AM
Gateshead Thunder coach Stanley Gene
Maybe the marriage is basking in the warm glow of its honeymoon but plans and expectations are for the long haul.
Newcastle Falcons, the area’s Premier rugby union club, said ‘I do’ to an approach from rugby league’s Gateshead Thunder to form a partnership that is aiming only one way: onward and upward.
The Thunder, playing third tier league, are planning to perform at Kingston Park come the opening of a spanking new season in February and are in discussions with those who matter over a name change to reflect their new city home.
In the spirit of togetherness the Falcons and Thunder top brass agreed to come together for an exclusive interview over their joint plans.
"" style="box-sizing: border-box; width: 300px; border: 0px; vertical-align: bottom;">
Falcons owner Semore Kurdi and director of rugby Dean Richards shared a table and a coffee pot with Thunder managing director Keith Christie and head coach Stanley Gene, a legendary figure not just in Super League but back home in Papua New Guinea.
Certainly the Falcons remain very much big brother but the eventual aim is for Thunder to join them in top flight rugby, albeit the 13-a-side code.
“It most certainly is, but in the medium term not long term,” was Kurdi’s positive answer when I pushed for clarity on the height of ambition. “Super League is the aim.
“There are great benefits for both clubs in this partnership, great similarities and joint goals while we will, of course, still keep our own identities. The Thunder will, for example, retain their own board of directors and senior management but we will share things like ticketing, marketing and playing facilities.
“As for a possible name change Keith and his executives are in discussions with the people who matter most like the supporters.
“Of course you can’t buy success quickly. You’ve got to build towards it and that is what the Thunder are doing. And we’re talking from grass roots level.
“The way ahead is clearly defined. Rugby League has a pyramid system which means if you’re successful you can be promoted all the way to the top. They made the play-offs last season and because of Stanley Gene’s legendary status back home he has been able to sign four Papua New Guinea players whose ability is much higher than the standard where they will be playing.
“If promotion can be obtained next season that would put the Thunder in the Championship, one step off Super League. It would be tough there of course, it’s a good league, but it would be exciting.” Semore has overseen such a rise from the ashes with the Falcons who in his first full season of control won promotion from union’s Championship and last campaign retained their Premiership status. Another small step along the way has been taken this term.
“We have already established a sound basis,” Thunder managing director Keith Christie told me. “We have boys in from the age of eight and have links with more than 14 regional clubs fielding sides at under 14, 18, and 20s.
“Because of our success we’ve applied for tier two academy status where we would become only one of three clubs outside of Super League.”
If Dean Richards saw the union and league link peter out at Harlequins there is a template nearer home at Leeds where dual success has been achieved though with league the more successful.
“We can both benefit,” insisted Richards. “There are certain positions where players can cross over – I’ve signed league players down the years. However our link with the Thunder has not been born because we want to eventually plunder their players. Far from it.”
It’s ironic that Stanley Gene should be the coach delegated to target Super League status because he actually signed for Gateshead Thunder back in 1998, their only season in the top flight.
“Oh, sure I came up and stayed overnight at Washington to join the Thunder,” said Gene. “I actually signed at seven o’clock in the morning but never played because I got a phone call to say the franchise was being moved to Hull. So I went with it.”
Gene had burst upon the English scene after starring in the 1995 RL World Cup held here. He began at Hull Kingston Rovers and later crossed the great devide to Hull Sharks (now Hull FC) upon Gateshead heading south. Stanley, only 5ft 4in tall but with the build of a pocket battleship, also wore the colours of Huddersfield Giants, Bradford Bulls and Halifax while playing in three World Cups during a 14-year international career with Papua New Guinea. He famously captained Bradford to the 2006 World Club Challenge Championship.
Upon his Test retirement in 2008 Stanley was carried from the field in Australia to a standing ovation from a 16,239 crowd that reduced a hard man to a flood of tears.
He still resides in the Hull area with his English wife Joanna and sons Elliott, 17, and seven-year-old Leo.
This is a sporting hero who grew up deep in the rain forests of Papua New Guinea avoiding lethal snake bites, fierce political violence and even cannibalism. His was a life of abject poverty way beyond anything we can comprehend from which rugby thankfully rescued him.
Gene attained cult-hero status here in England thousands of miles away from his roots but he never forgot those of his own less fortunate.
His village has regularly benefited from Stanley’s generosity. Water and electricity supplies are down to him. Against such a backdrop of fighting hardship shooting for Super League status with the Thunder should seem like a doddle.
Posted by ThunderArmy on 25 November 2014 - 02:28 PM
Might just pop along on the Friday night too. Great!
You will have a great night if you attend the thunder v york game on the friday night, hopefuly lots of super league fans attend,there will be entertainment and drinks offers on, thunder aiming for promotion next season and with the players we have signed it will be worth a watch, onwards and upwards! Boom boom thunder army!
- EdinburghExile likes this
Posted by ThunderArmy on 23 November 2014 - 01:28 AM
Enjoy the full Magic Weekend experiance starting with Thunder vs York City Knights at Kingston Park on Friday 29th May ko 8pm with special entertainment and drink offers throughout the evening. Continue the weekend at St James Park for the Super League Magic Weekend.
Get a full weekend Pass including the Thunders game for
£30 Adults and £15 U16's
Call 0191 214 5588 then option 1 to book
Posted by ThunderArmy on 30 October 2014 - 12:14 AM
- Futtocks likes this
Posted by ThunderArmy on 20 September 2014 - 12:38 PM