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  1. A young Ben Black wouldn't go amiss either
  2. I would assume the same, we are looking to bring in a HB, but it is not really a simple question, it depends on how much we have to spend and what our goal as a club is. That is the key to it really, I do not know what our goal is for next season. But, assuming our goal is to finish in the top 4, like we aimed for this season. It is likely, we have a fair amount of cash left over from finishing 3rd last year, as Kevin stated pre-season, we were not going to blow the majority of the prize money we earned on players this year. It is also based on the assumption, we probably expected and budgeted to have the likes of Hitchcox, Holmes and Minikin in the side for most of the season and they have hardly played for us. Therefore, we have probably saved a good amount of cash, and unlike some teams around us, we are not signing players for the relegation dogfight. If the powers that be, do not decide to restructure and Bradford are relegated, (so it is a big IF), I'd probably go for Joe Keyes, or as stated earlier Oscar Thomas, as both have pace, something we lack. But neither will be cheap, as both have full time contracts. Good HB's are in high demand and are not cheap, but if we are going for a top 4 finish/look to beat the teams above us, we are going to have to spend big to even get close to achieving it. Grant Gore and Chris Atkin would have been two other targets high on my list, but both appear to be out of the equation, unless HKR get promoted and sign a couple top line HBs for SL and release, or let Atkin go out on loan etc. I would be happy if Cas would let us have Holmes for another year, just as long as there is a guarantee they could not recall him during the season, but again it is a big IF and unlikely to happen Realistically, I don't think we are going to compete with most of the top sides in the division next year. Our gates would not sustain a squad capable of getting in to the top 4. Especially, if Bradford go down, there is probably around £30k gone out of the budget just swapping them for Toronto on the gate receipts and refreshments alone. That is probably around 2/3 of the cost of a good quality halfback in this division, that we will not have available to spend. To get in to the top 4, we'd have to fight for a place with at least 4 full time teams in the division, London, HKR, Toulouse and Toronto, assuming nobody gets promoted, (even if Bradford are relegated, which I don't think they will be). Then there is Featherstone, who are already in the middle 8's this year, so will have a large playing budget to allow them to improve the squad for next season. There is still a possibility of Halifax getting in too, so they might have bigger budget to strengthen next season. This puts us in to 6th place at best next season, but possibly as low as 8th if Bradford are saved again and get there act together. Therefore, we are looking at being involved in the relegation dogfight with Dewsbury, Rochdale, Oldham Swinton/promoted team from CH1. unless we strengthen significantly and spend to really push to compete with the teams above us. We have only beaten one side above us in the league this season, Halifax at home, the rest have done the double over us, next season will not be any easier. Hence, why neither Gareth Moore, nor Kyle Briggs are the right men for us to be going after IMO. We need to bring in better quality to improve as a team, not just bring in more players of the standard we already have.
  3. You're more in the know than me and obviously pretty close to him to know about the details above. Apologies if I've offended you. It wasn't my intention. I'm maybe reading in to it too much, but I get the impression you seem to think I have some sort of axe to grind here against Moore? Let me assure I don't. I feel the same about Kyle Briggs at Featherstone, who is rumoured to be signing for us too. He too is decent player, but IMO he is not what we currently need, he is a similar sort of player to Moore and Brambani. But you can rest easy, what I think doesn't matter, I'm not the coach or on the board. Just out of interest, as a player, what do you think Moore's biggest strengths and weakness's are? Do you honestly think that his biggest asset is his pace? I'll try to acknowledge each point raised one by one so it is crystal clear for you. Stats - His scoring record is better than either Walker or Brambani (acknowledged), but as a halfback there is far more to being successful than just scoring. As a winger or centre, it would be much more relevant. As you stated yourself, at halfback not so much. It is a bit like showing a HB's average tackle count or tackle busts, it is good to have a high tackle count or players that can break tackles, but not really as important at HB as other attributes. It is more about how they can make a break and open defences up and put other players in to score. As you rightly point out "the stats don't lie", but they also do not show the full picture either - That is what I meant by pointless stats.. Sheffield dominating - I think you will find it was Featherstone who really dominated things during Sheffields 2 GF appearances. Over 4 years they were in three grand finals and they finished top of the league from 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 so I'm not sure how Sheffield were dominant despite them winning 2 GF's? Top try scorer - Yes, I agree, but as stated above it is not the only thing that matters. But it could also be argued that it is a very good record in a very disappointing season for Halifax, who missed out on the top 4. Wayne Rettie is our top try scorer this season (16 so far I think? with 7 games left), but it doesn't make him Martin Offiah does it? Bradford, London, Toronto - Bradford were desperate for players at the beginning of the season due to there financial troubles and looked like they might not even be able to start the season due to a lack of numbers. London signed Scott Leatherbarrow the previous season and Toronto signed Luke Menzies - So what? It doesn't really mean anything, nobody knows how they were going to use him, even if he had signed. It's almost like you are saying, Toronto only signed Ryan Brierley because they couldn't get Moore. The point I am still trying to get through to you is, I do not dislike either Moore nor Briggs, but neither offers anything much better than what we already have. I'll put it another way, I really like Lillicrop as a player, he has the heart of a lion and runs his blood to water every game, but I wouldn't want 3 more like him in the same pack, because he is not really big enough, you need 3 big props to play along side him to balance the team and offer something a bit different. It is a bit the same with Scott, Rettie and Ainscough. All 3 have been excellent this season, but to get the balance of the team right and offer us another dimension to our game, we cannot really afford all 3 of them in the same side IMO, because it leaves us short of pace against the best sides in the division. Therefore, we need a quick player in place of at least one of them, to make us a more well rounded team as a whole. It is not a detriment to those 3 lads though.
  4. Deano, try reading my post, I don't hate Moore, far from it. Moore is a decent mid table HB. However, the game has moved on since the appearances you mention and as decent as he is, I don't think he is good enough to take us in to the top 4. Unless, he has remarkably got faster since his previous two stints with us and can now get through the gaps he creates. He wasn't deemed good enough by Halifax either, otherwise, why did they release him? Perhaps, they are on the same wavelength as me, they have Murrell, who is not blessed with pace either, so have decided to go with a HB combination whose strengths differ from each other. If we didn't have Brambani, then Moore would be a good signing, but the fact is, we do have Brambani, so do we need another player with similar attributes? I would say no, we don't, but it is just my opinion. Here it is for you again, Moore's strengths and weaknesses are very similar to Brambani's. Both are good kickers and both lack a yard of pace if we are being brutal. But imo, Brambani is slightly faster from what I've seen, but it is only slight. He can also kick the ball a bit further from what I've seen too. Therefore, it is a backwards step if we sign him again, as he does not add anything to the team that we don't have already. I don't think there would be too many Batley fans who would be rushing to swap Brambani for him, but I wouldn't begin to speak on behalf of every other Batley fan. Maybe you know different? Most of the "facts" you state are actually opinions, just like mine are opinions. Brambani featured in back to back GF wins if we are throwing meaningless information in to the equation. Which is better, the 2 back to back GF wins Bambani had with Sheffield, or Moore's GF loss and a NRC win? Don't spend too much time thinking about it Deano, as it is meaningless information too. The only thing that matters, is what they could add to the team to make us better than we already are. Maybe, if we signed Moore, he would be the catalyst to get us to the top of the league, but I don't think he would, but I'm not a coach or a fortune teller. I think we need a quick HB, a Danny McGuire type, at his best, (not now), a Hb with pace who backs up and can finish breaks from inside his own half. I'd be surprised if Moore was on more money than Thackray, Sammutt and Ford, but again, I don't profess to know how much any of them are on. But then again, reputedly, Wayne Rooney was on more money than Lionel Messi, but I know which one I would have chosen. So again, you highlight another pointless "fact".
  5. Thanks for your response Ben, we have most of those suggestions in place though. We have Bulldog Beer at the bars to tie in with the franchise, the cladding on the stands is shown below, although you cannot see the mural on the back of the grey stand, mind you I'm not very impartial, so not best placed to be objective. I don't think it looks any more unappealing than most other grounds in the game though. We have held a few amateur matches, including the Police v Army and Navy etc. before games but none have really made a big difference to the gates. Although you might be on to something in relation to Barla games like Batley Boys and 9's tournaments before matches, I don't think we have held those before games and they may prove to be a winner. Sport is such a fickle business, I would have bet almost anything that Koukash would have seen a huge uplift in the attendances at Salford by now, given so much media attention, the amount of cash he has thrown at the squad, some top notch NRL players signed up, not to mention his location to other RL clubs and catchment area. It isn't that long since Castleford were languishing in our division with gates of 3-4000, yet there gates have rocketed since Powell took charge, maybe it is just a case of having a few years of success on the bounce.
  6. Couldn't agree more Colin, why sack him now with just 1 league game left? Realistically, to stand any chance of qualifying for SL, teams need to be full time and have a chairmen or consortium of money men with very deep pockets, far deeper than Campbell's from what I have seen. In all honesty, I'd love to see them get in, partly because I've a bit of a soft spot for Fev, but I'd also like to see what excuses the decision makers at Red Hall/SL chairmen would make up to keep them out if they managed to qualify. According to Martin Sadler, there are already reports that up to 6 SL clubs are trying to veto Toronto getting in to SL should they qualify next season, apparently due to a lack of away support. If they are trying to veto them, what do teams like Fev bring to the table?
  7. He's a decent signing, I'm a bit surprised Fev have got rid, it makes you wonder if there really are money troubles at Fev and that is behind the departure of him and Sharpe.
  8. I'd maybe give Holmes a go, because I don't think we saw the best of him earlier in the season and he is obviously very capable. He was invariably playing behind a beaten pack then and the forwards are playing much better now. His best performance was at Sheffield away, when the forwards were on top. Although, I'm not sure it is worth breaking up a proven halfback pairing or disrupting a winning team, we have won 6 out of the last 7, so I think it tough call to mess with a winning formula.
  9. Gore impressed me when he was at Whitehaven too, I hope the lad shakes his injury off, it would be a shame to lose a lad with that ability from the game.
  10. I guess we all see things a little differently. (especially from our armchairs in the West Midlands) Sorry Redditch, I couldn't resist. I'm not saying Moore is a bad player, he is a decent mid table championship HB, but no more than that. If we are aiming for top 4, Moore isn't the answer, it would be a backwards step. The problem with Moore, like most halfbacks in the division, he lacks pace. Same can be said for Kyle Briggs for that matter, even if he is only asking for 4 pints and a pie as his match terms. Neither Briggs nor Moore would add anything to us imo, because there strengths are very similar to Brambani's, but to me neither is as good or significantly better than Dom. Would any of you swap either of them for Walker or Brambani? I know I wouldn't. To me, Walker is a better organiser, and Brambani is a stronger kicker and is a bit faster, he does occasionally dart through a gap to score. In Moore's previous spells with us, my over-riding memory was, he was capable of creating a gap, but when he went for it he was always tackled before he could exploit it. I must have missed the one where Ainy skinned Thomas, but my memory isn't what it was I grant you it was a woeful attempt at a tackle. But IIRC he was in attendance when Ainy passed the ball to Scott for his try near the try line, but I agree his tackling is not the best, but then again, most HB's are not renowned for their defense.
  11. I'm not so sure, I can see it both ways. The "hub cap" is a piece of silverware, so part of me thinks we should go all out for it and do what we can to win it. But, when all said and done, it is essentially a trophy for coming in fifth place over the season, so it is a pointless and worthless competition, with very little meaning other than perhaps a bit of prize money and a few extra fixtures to bulk the number of league games out. It might be better to save money and put it towards strengthening next years side instead. Then again, is it worth starting the rebuilding process now, get the players used to playing with each other, prior to next season and using the next 7 games as friendlies so we can hit the ground running for next season? I suppose the £64 Million dollar question is, who is available currently that would strengthen us? We need some pace, we are sadly lacking in it currently. Ainscough, Scott and Rettie do a great job and they have all had good seasons so far. But none of them are really quick enough if we want to compete with the best sides in the division and challenge for a top 4 place. Playing all 3 in the same side leaves us badly exposed for pace. We have a great halfback pairing in Walker and Brambani, but again both lack pace, so we could do with a quick halfback. But you can't leave Patch out of the side imo for his organisation, leadership and kicking game. So he needs to play at loose forward. However, the pack then looks a bit too small if you do that. We then probably need a big tackle busting second rower to balance the pack out. Again, Manning, Farrell and Day have all been very good this season, but none of them are really big enough if you play Walker at loose forward, we look a bit one-dimensional especially as we have Lillicrop at prop. We also need another prop, as we only have 4 recognised ones currently, so we will struggle if one gets injured. There are very few quick halfbacks about in the country, the only one who might be gettable, and it is only a might is Oscar Thomas at Bradford. He seems to be getting a bit of stick from the Bradford faithful, he was playing at fullback on Sunday against us, but I'm sure he is halfback really. He might be able to do us a job as the pacey halfback we need. However, he is full time and won't come cheap, but won't be as expensive as say Thackray, Ford or Sammut. But then again, unless we spend big on a halfback, we are looking at the likes of a Gareth Moore, Scott Leatherbarrow or Lewis Palfrey, none of whom were good enough when they were with us earlier in their careers and aren't as good as Walker. Grant Gore at Swinton might be another HB worth punt, he's always impressed me when I've seen him, but I haven't really seen enough of him to know for sure if he would improve us significantly enough to get us fighting for a top 4 spot. I thought Campbell looked good against us again, but has he fully recovered from his injury. He has missed a lot of this season, but I don't know whether it is on form or through a recurrence of injury? I think Diskin has already stated in the papers, we are not looking to strengthen for this season though.
  12. I reckon Swinton play some of the best football I've seen in our division, but it must be said that there results have been disappointing, but with the money troubles they have, it makes you wonder whether it has played its part during the season and affected the results. Fev's decision still seems crazy, given they are part time and achieved a top 4 finish, it makes you wonder what has gone off for them to make this decision.
  13. Absolutely crazy, can't understand it, but I suppose the truth will out shortly.
  14. We are doing that already, there aren't category tickets. We have a great outdoor bar with loads of picnic tables behind the stand where fans can mingle and catch a few rays. We regularly have live bands playing before and after games too. Recently at the Sheffield home game, it was free for everybody to attend as part of the memory of Jo Cox celebrations and we got an attendance of 2100 on a lovely sunny summers afternoon. Sheffield do not traditionally travel well, so I would have expected a gate of maybe 7-800 for a normal fixture. But realistically, although it was a success, an uplift of just 1300+ is still very disappointing for a team who have enjoyed quite recent relative successes, including a grand final appearance, won the Northern Rail Cup and finished 3rd in the league last season and being the highest placed part-time rugby team in the country. We also had a great performance against Sheffield on the day, beating them 70-12, the best performance of the season. As a club, we have never been one to gamble our future based upon short term success, unlike so many other teams around us. Maybe that is to our detriment, but from a business and ethical standpoint, it is surely the right thing to do. We have invested heavily in the ground over the years and built steadily, rather than overspending on players. For example, Wakefield, who despite receiving several warnings that there SL status would be revoked unless the ground was brought up standard, are still plying there trade in the games top flight, in fact, rewarded for ignoring the warnings. Unlike Bradford, Salford and Leigh who have been badly run over the years and have survived by the skin of there teeth on several occasions, we have been very well run. Nor have we gone down the route of Featherstone or Halifax, over-spending on players, chasing the dream of SL which has seen them in very serious financial troubles over the years. I daresay, if Featherstone had not reached the top 4 last year, they would have been in serious trouble again and facing the possibility of going bankrupt. I believe the killer blow for teams like Batley, was the introduction of SL. The season prior to SL starting, us an Keighley (at the height of Cougarmania) won promotion, so by rights we should have been in the inaugural SL. However there will be many people on here refuting it I'm sure, and may post reasons why we should not have been promoted, and it was right for the RFL to do what they did. You are entitled to you opinions, and I'm sure there will be some arguments which are quite valid too. We averaged gates of well over 2000 that season, Keighley around 4000, but after we were refused access, we lost over half of our fan base overnight, as did Keighley, probably more so in there case. Most fans citing the game was corrupt and decided there was no point in watching a team who will not be allowed to progress and compete at the top level, even though they have earned the right. Bearing in mind, that same season, Warington only average 3500 fans whilst in the top division, it was difficult to argue that something in the game was not quite right. Would it have happened at football or any other sport? Rightly, or wrongly it is history, like last years snow. Neither of us have ever really recovered from that. The options open to us are:- 1. We give up and cease to exist, what is the point in carrying on. 2. We do what we can to keep going and try to be the best we can be. The best team in the championship in the hope that we can build enough support to eventually have a crack at running a full time squad and SL. Geographically, there is lots of competition, within approx 15 miles we have Leeds, Huddersfield, Castleford, Wakefield in SL who will always likely be a bigger draw on supporters than us. So the best we can hope for, is to try to become everyone's second favourite team, the underdog everybody routes for. Until we can build and compete with them in SL. The path of least resistance, is to target fans of the game already, Season ticket holders of SL clubs and let them get in for just a £5 to all of our home games. The game they love, played at a high standard only £5, it is a bargain, but we are not seeing the numbers I would hope or expect. If anybody can think of any other way to get people coming to watch us, I'd be grateful for any responses. I'm at a loss, to see what more the club can do, other than gambling relatively huge sums of money on marketing that may or may not pay off. In essence, gambling playing budget on spreading the word, that certainly will not pay off if the product on the field is not competitive.
  15. I thought he was fair, certainly better than Johnny "Rotten" Roberts at Featherstone. He didn't give a forward pass for either side all afternoon, despite several obvious ones thrown by both sides. My only real complaint was the speed of the ptb, it was so slow, neither side were really allowed to get any sort of attacking momentum up, neither side were really allowed to play football because by the time he made defenders get off, both sides had enough time to hold a committee meeting to decide who they were marking and get in position. It made defending much easier than it really should have been. I also thought the penalty try call he missed, was at least as clear cut Gareth Moore's last week, or the one given against Rettie at Fev.