Would that be South Trafford Raiders? The same South Trafford Raiders that were involved in this years NWC Competition at U13's, were accomodated into the league in late June, played 4 fixtures then folded due to all their players going back to RU and at no point then or since have officially notified the league of their intention to withdraw and duly conceded all of their remaining fixtures?
Bury Broncos 13's entered the league at the start of the season and were allocated fixtures yet never fulfilled a single one, Wrexham Bradley Raiders and North Trafford Titans did the same, as a consequence you can imagine the impact that had on the rest of the teams and their fixtures in the division.
So whilst its ok to continually bang the drum of developing the game in new areas via a methodology that revolves around enticing RU players into said clubs, we have to apply some reality to the issues created as a result of such a strategy and if indeed it really is best practice.
Merit leagues I believe are a viable option and are a necessary requirement if the all to frequent instances such as the ones above are going to be the ultimate outcome of such a cast iron developmental approach to Junior RL in what can in some instances be described as RU/Football monopolised areas.
The example I have used in relation to South Trafford U13's above is unfortunately only one of a growing number that we have seen occur throughout the age groups this season.
Yes this is the same Trafford Raiders.
A club two years ago that had seven at training. And last season hit a high point of seventy.
For the record when I pull the u14 team from the last three games (the Aug break is a killer) I informed the league in the league communication that was for both teams. This obviously wasn't sufficient and I apologise for that. However, when I thanked the league for their help with the 14s i informed them that the 13s - in their first season - could not go on. They should not have been in the league With hindsight.
A merit league will be a huge success for our new u12s and u13s. The 14s are established and can probably run the full season. Interesting that we had several teams fold games against us or request we move fixture as no players. I tried to play games mid week but only Blackpool would accommodate.
I've obviously got to learn the politics of this league, seems simply trying to promote TGG in an outpost region is not good enough for some. I need people trying to help not score points.
The u14 have achieved a huge amount. We won the Blackpool 9s. We had our first presentation evening last week and 120 paid to attend. I ran the team almost single handed. Now I have more parents involved and we can grow.
It's also most like people want us to fail - must an RL thing - I'll keep going until it's too hard or too much trouble. The heartland can then be smug and say they were right.