When Oldham had it's Service Area, and it was the envy of the RFL, everybody involved did so on a voluntary basis. Where as WIgan, Saints, Warrington etc were attached to their SL counterparts and the coaches were paid to do the same job.
Oldham not only competed with these clubs, they became successful in what they did. On the odd year, they suffered due to not having the quality of players available than other age groups, but it was rare.
This could happen again, and ORLFC would benefit from this sort of structure and organisation, and there would be many capable people willing to get involved, coach etc for NOTHING, as before. Not everybody involved with grassroots or rep rugby is money orientated, and are there for the good of the game and the town.
The youth set up in Oldham in second to none - STILL IS - NO ARGUMENT !
Yep many of us have given time to the junior set up for nothing - You do make some good points. Oldham has done very well with many ex-pros giving back to the game. Mike Ford, Steve Molly were great - All big Chris Hamiliton fans i'm told.
We have punched above our weight for a long time at junior level - But the professionalism of today is much higher than 10-15 years ago. Sports Science, nutrition, etc is all a big part of the game. Thus I feel a paid professional will generate better results than a hearty bunch of dads.
My real point is how many service lads ended up at Sheddings?
The bigger pro clubs will still have the draw on the best players. If a Wigan / Saints / Leeds cannot bring a player to a certain standard or the lad finds other interests I doubt the good folk currently in charge at Oldham can make them knuckle down any better.
The youth set up is nothing to worry about in Oldham (St Annes, Saddleworth and Waterhead do a fantastic job) . They need a professional club in the town that makes them want to play there! 400 lonely fans, playing on a tip with no shower does not inspire anyone (except that Hand and Foot woman).