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About Rob

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  1. Two players banned from the same team in the same match. I was wondering, if the drug-testing people show up, how many players get tested at that match? i.e. did they test most of the team (and 2 out of the whole team returned positive results, which is not great) or i.e. did they test only two players (and both were positive, very worrying) which might indicate a huge problem within the Russian players in general?
  2. If the proposed new stadiums are along the lines of Warrington or Saints' then great. But I was underwhelmed with the descriptions I have seen of the new stadium for Cas so far, with a smaller capacity nothing like the original proposed design. Wheldon Road is still within it's community. The new ground is proposed to be in the middle of a retail park near the motorway I believe, even if it's still 'Castleford' sort of.
  3. Contaminated with what? It's been there 130 years? And if that's the case then the ground has very little value to anyone who wants to develop the land into a housing estate, which ironically increases its chances of remaining a RL stadium.
  4. I can't believe I'm writing this as I'm about to sound like a flat-capper, the likes of whom I've raged against for the last 25 years! But here goes. We lose something irreplaceable from the game with every traditional stadium lost and new flat-pack replacement built out-of-town. Both Cas and Trinity have space to develop their grounds and I'd love to see this happen although I do reluctantly accept that neither Belle Vue nor Wheldon Road seem likely to be redeveloped, which is a shame. Instead, the management of both clubs are pinning their hopes on third parties to build a soul-less, minimalist new-builds of limited capacity, and not big enough to cater for the biggest games, in out-of-town locations*. The atmosphere at games in these old stadiums is something that should be cherished and nurtured - it is an intangible asset for our game. We need to bring these grounds up to scratch and keep the clubs in the middle of the communities they serve. More expensive to redevelop the existing grounds? Yes. But if the move to a new stadium coincides with a downturn in playing fortunes then there's a real prospect of fans being lost from the game like at Salford. What's the cost of losing fans who may never come back? What's the cost to the game of losing a club? I'm aware that neither club has the cash to develop their ground. And in Wakey's case they don't even own a ground to develop. I'd like to see the RFL recognise the strategic importance of some clubs over others and get involved in 'investing' directly into these clubs. Help them by purchasing grounds if necessary and leading the development of key stadia using central funds. Subsequent increases in revenue for these clubs should be then fed back into the RFL directly until the 'investment' is paid back. Let's be honest: clubs with reasonably big existing fanbases in the heartlands have huge strategic importance - a focus for the local amateurs, they provide passionate noisy atmospheres for TV games and provide the game with context - history and strong links to the local communities. This strategic importance of these clubs justifies focussed investment of central funds to protect what we have, to ensure our amateur hotbeds of the sport survive and thrive. The governing body investing in one club and not others would be controversial. This is where good leadership and a big set of balls comes in. It'll never happen, but we can dream! *I'm not local to Wakefield/Cas so please correct me if i'm wrong.
  5. Interesting for me that you mention Heysham Atoms. I've been involved with the club for nearly 20 years. 100 years ago this areas was the heartlands. Professional clubs at Morecambe and Lancaster who mixed it up with Wigan and Saints. The politics of the early 20th century saw the professional clubs wither leaving the area largely devoid of league. Heysham Atoms started out in the 1980s as a Union works team from the power station. From what I understand it was stacked full of league lads from the Wigan area who expressed their preference for the 13-aside game and soon switched to league. Like many clubs, we've had our periods of success and occasionally struggles. Fortunately at the moment we're on a bit of a high with 3 junior teams plus a senior team in the premier division and noises about other junior teams emerging too. Despite all this, we can struggle for numbers occasionally at training. But we're ambitious and would love to fill in the gaps in our teams to ensure we can provide rugby kids of all ages. The local Union team is still a much bigger club than us with a full compliment of junior sides and girls / women's teams too, but it's my honest belief that our players in the first team are of a much higher standard. Problems developing the game outside the heartlands: despite only being an hour's drive from the heartlands, many teams we play view a trip to Heysham as being a trip into the outback. One of the problems we've experienced (all teams in the club) is getting teams to travel an hour up the motorway. If we were positioned even further away I can imagine the problem would be even greater. Kids being interested in league: Most of our young boys and girls do not know the difference between union and league. And do not care either. They can hardly sign their name on the signing on forms never mind explain the difference between the sports. There is a ton of kids in the area who will jump at the chance of some sporting action if it's organised for them and is fun. Money: We've been helped by a small grant from the RL Cares charity which helped start one team. We've had some generous sponsorships too. Money is not a huge issue for us. We charge kids £25/year subs plus £2.50/game. £500 from the kids plus a modest sponsorship or two to match gives you a budget of £1000+ which is plenty to buy a junior kit and run a team.. We do benefit from free use of facilities on the back of the seniors. Coaches/Administrators: Our biggest problem. Lack of coaches/volunteers/team administrators is what has always held back new teams forming at our club. There's always plenty of players if you've got the coaches/administrators to go out and do the recruiting.
  6. John Where on are tables published and results (latest scores, scorers etc) and attendances? I've no desire to 'crowd source' information from a 10-page forum thread before anyone suggests that. I'll point out that I am a paying customer of yours - I've been a subscriber to RLW & LE for 20 years or more. I even paid the £10 to be a member of this forum before League Publications decided to make it free for everyone. Respectfully, doesn't even try and produce a few of the items I mentioned in the OP. And I've no desire to wait until my copy of LE arrives on a Tuesday to find out what happened.
  7. For years my go-to place was Sporting Life. Since the latest re-vamp its absolutley gash, with tables displayed as text, no attendances, fixtures and results not clear. Where is the best place to get online scores, news, attendances and reports from these days?
  8. He's complaining that the situation with Toronto games is not generous enough for the UK travelling teams. Toronto fund: -a) flights - for 15 away teams plus their own flights -b) hotels - for 15 away teams plus themselves in the UK -c) accommodation - for 15 away teams plus themselves in the UK -d) valuable TV exposure for all teams Travelling teams fund: Lunch for one team on one day (for which they will apparently suffer financial hardship) If he's being serious, it's actually quite amusing!
  9. I'm guessing you are actually being serious??
  10. I like most of what you say, but not this bit (even with your subsequent justification). The RFL should offer training, support, advice and even a slice of TV revenue if their inclusion generates additional revenues for the league. They should not however switch resources (financial or even strategic such as development officers) away from the UK, at the expense of the UK unless there is an extremely string business case where a return on the investment is all but guaranteed.
  11. I'd like to see the game take control of Belle Vue one way or another. Else, we'll see the club wither and die. Assuming the owners are happy to sell it, I'd be happy to see the RFL step in and purchase the ground and rent it back to Wakefield Trinity. Which of the stakeholders have the most potential to resolve and improve the situation? Clearly Michael Carter doesn't have the resources to buy the ground back. Can fans be mobilised to purchase and develop the ground? Consider the fans' collective 'wealth' - they have far greater resources than the Chairman. Average crowd, 4,500 (lets assume 4,000 Wakefield fans) Average UK wage £26.5k Typically half of the population are in 'employment' 2,000 x £26,500 = £53m This is being conservative. The actual combined annual income of the Wakefield fans is probably nearer £75m. Belle Vue was recently put up for sale for £600k. A paltry £150 from each fan would purchase the ground. Splash out £450 each and you've covered a small re-development programme. No profiteering, all money remains in the game. No 'donations' - the fans become the owners / shareholders in a trust where ownership / voting rights are in proportion with the money invested. For every 'poor' fan who can't stump up £150, there will be another who is more affluent and would fork out double. Why not?
  12. Love the idea. It introduces 2/3 new 'events' into the sport without adding a single extra match. I would suggest the crowds for the opening weekend would be just as big as the current magic weekend, easily surpassing the current aggregate totals. It would excite the championship teams' fans giving them the big event experience against superleague teams in a massive stadium. This Championship fans would probably be more excited about the Round 6 matches than the Superleague fans. I like the season ticket idea too. Someone needs to pass this on to Roger Draper!
  13. Sounds like he means it, but what happens if they don't secure another suitable ground? Could they then be homeless which would cause even greater problems than a naff ground?
  14. Maybe there should be a round of Magic Weekend fixtures on Pluto. Ripe for expansion I understand.