Hemel Rugby League

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  1. Oxford and All Golds to merge?

    Hemel Stags have just about finalised all their preparations for the 2018 League 1 season and will be in the fixture list when it comes out soon. Best to keep an eye on the club website for updated positive developments. We are bitterly disappointed that Oxford and the All Golds - who joined Championship 1 with ourselves in 2013 - will not be in our fixture list next season. Their withdrawal shows just how tough it is to sustain League 1 in development areas since the RFL changed the League from a development league in 2013-2014 to a high performance league from 2015 onwards.
  2. Replacing CLS

    You're absolutely correct - if clubs don't want something there is little you can do. But a good, vigorous community pathway is hugely important if clubs like Hemel and Toronto, Oxford etc don't have to train in the North.
  3. Replacing CLS

    The failure of the RFL to deliver a decent elite community pathway in the South is a huge blow - to Hemel and other southern-based clubs in the South - in it's attempts to create a proper pathway to League 1 in the South. With only three clubs expressing an interest in the proposed East Premier League and clubs like London Skolars not even sending a repesentative to the meeting of the clubs, let alone joining the competition, it shows you just how fragile and deeply unambitious the sport is in the South.
  4. Expansion Clubs.

    It;s a cultural thing. People who previously got into the ground for next to nothing to see players who played for nothing are now being asked to pay to see players who are being paid to play.. There are many former spectators at Hemel who have never ever paid a penny to watch a match. On the other hand there are new spectators who readily pay the price of admission to watch a higher standard of rugby league.
  5. Expansion Clubs.

    The Stags as a community club have not changed. They have a full-time community officer plus a part-time one. Their schools programme remains outstanding ( I think about 10% of the UK's Champions Schools come from the Hemel Stags catchment area)) as does their Satelite clubs programme. Their junior teams all made the semi-finals of the London Junior League and their Under 13's are Champions. Their open age community team are on target to retain the East Region League title while their merit (occasional) team does well - given limited playing opportunities. Owning their own ground has give them continued commercial opportunities (most unrelated to rugby) that their opponents in League 1 (and even the Championship) can only dream of. Where it is difficult is League 1. Hemel has gone from being in the play-offs in 2013 & 2014 and the most successful club in community rugby league in the South to where they are today. The reason for this is best summed in in the Stags match against the Wolfpacks in Toronto last week. The Stags' players - who played with a commitment and pride in the shirt as good if not better than their predecessors - earned £60 for the loss while many of their opponents pocketed £1000. The decision of the RFL in 2015 to change League 1 from a development league to a performance league(without a vote) destroyed the competition. Changing the salary cap in League 1 from £250,000 to £1,800,000 to accommodate Toronto sums it all. The move to the Tetley's Stadium at Dewsbury for better training facilities and to be closer to the player talent pool has clearly not been as successful as planned - not so much as to the players recruited as to the failure to establish a good dual-registration partnership with Dewsbury due to Dewsbury's own local difficulties (only one Dewsbury player has turned out for Hemel this season) Whatever the speculation about League 1 in 2018 one thing is certain - Hemel Stags will be playing in League 1 in 2018.
  6. 1-2 Jul: The Kingstone Press League 1 Match Thread

    Good weekend for the Stags - after near misses over the past six weeks or so the League 1 side got a much deserved win. Nice to see Stags legend B J Swindells urging the home side on with the same passion he displayed as a player London Junior League teams (u13, u14, u16) all finished top of their leagues to gain home semi final fixtures next Saturday. On top of this the Stag's East Region side cemented their position at the top of the League with a resounding win over Bedford
  7. Outrageous London prices, Hector. £2.70 @ pint at Pennine Way to see the same product. Ho, Ho!
  8. When Hemel's first clubhouse was jointly opened in February 1985 by BARLA's Maurice Oldroyd and local MP Robert Jones - just four years after the club was founded,few could have envisaged that it would become the town's leading Sports & Social club that is busy 7 days a week. It's been a long journey since it's early days when it was variously known as the 'hole in the wall' or the 'garage' but it has expanded and prospered to become a valued community asset. Just tonight there were two darts teams in action; a Buffaloes lodge meeting and not to mention thirsty players from our 7-a-side football pitch and our community RL teams practising at Pennine Way It's great to see our North London rivals joining Elmbridge Eagles and ourselves as having a dedicated rugby league clubhouse in the South.
  9. League One play offs

    There was a meeting of all League 1 clubs - including Toronto - at the RFL offices at Media City, Salford last Wednesday week when the structure of League 1 in 2017 - and beyond - was discussed including the role of the iPro Cup. Unfortunately, the All Golds were unable to send a representative so their views on the matter, at this stage, are largely academic.
  10. 25 Mar: The Kingstone Press League 1 Match Thread

    A terrific day at Pennine Way Attendance of 425 Excellent gate receipts Record bar takings Hospitality packages sold out Food sold out Monthly magazine sold out Pity about the second half but the largely new Stags squad is still work in progress. Skolars were deserved winners.
  11. London Premier League

    The Hemel Stags team that is playing in the East Premier is basically the same team that played in the Merit League last season and is largely made up of players who have come through the Hemel domestic production line at some time. Few of these players are candidates for Hemel's League 1 side. Quite separately there is a Hemel Stags 'A' team which is comprised of players from the Hemel Stags League 1 squad (about 40-45 players in all) which will be playing a series of friendly fixtures during the season. First up is the Navy on March 3 followed by Oxford 'A' (not Cavaliers) on March 19. In April Hemel Stags 'A' play the Hemel Stags East Premier side in a fixture that is likely to pack Pennine Way!
  12. Hemel Stags Sponsors

    Hemel Stags are pleased to announce their portfolio of kit sponsors for the coming season. Underwoods Solicitors – with offices in Hemel Hempstead & Cape Town – continue as main shirt sponsor. They also sponsor the town’s Vanarama National League South side and owner Kerry Underwood is a great supporter of local sport in Dacorum Main Associate sponsor is Suffolk brewers Greene King who become exclusive suppliers to Hemel Stags replacing five previous different suppliers. Greene King Sales Development Manager Tom Ellis commented: "We are proud to be forming a commercial partnership with Hemel Stags which includes support for their National League 1 team. The Pennine Way Sports Ground is a busy mix of rugby league, football, darts and private functions and is therefore a perfect fit for the Greene King portfolio of products." Essex-based Vendadrink – who is also a sponsor at St Helens RFC – join the Stags in a reciprocal partnership. No sooner had the sponsorship deal been agreed than the Stags were able to offer an immediate return. Stags General Manager Samantha Allum explains that “our old hot drinks machine was far too slow for a busy Pennine Way having dispensed more than 50,000 hot drinks and Vendadrink provided the perfect solution. Their high speed Matrix machine – which can dispense 9 different quality hot drinks – paid for itself in a single day when we staged our annual 5-a-side Christmas football tournament on the Pennine Way 3G pitch. The machine is sure to be a queue-buster on League 1 match days!” Mark Sullivan – owner of Kensington Balustrade Systems – was introduced to the club by his son Louis who plays for the Stags U15’s and immediately became a fan & supporter of the sport and the club. Newlyns, an independent company with offices in London, Northampton and the North, have been trading since 1999 and are keen supporters of rugby league, particularly in the South of England. Lanes Coaches have supplied the Stags’s transport requirementss for the past three seasons and Owner/Driver Graham Lane takes a keen interest in the sport and acts as Hemel official time-keeper at away matches. Shaun Douse, a Director of SGD Surveys and a former Hemel junior, academy and senior player, continues with his support of his local club. Continuing as the club’s official kit supplier, Raging Bull’s online Club Shop offers a first class service to Stags supporters. While the Kingstone Press logo appears on all the pro clubs’ shirts, Hemel Stags are the only club in the South who can offer their draught and bottled product 52 weeks a year and this is reflected in the amount of generic and bespoke branding at the Stags’ Pennine Way ground. Stags CEO Bob Brown commented that “after the disappointments of 2015, coaches Troy Perkins & Colin Baker – assisted by Community Manager Mike Stewart – have done a great job in assembling an exciting playing squad for 2016 containing an intriguing mixture of youth and experience. We’re truly grateful for the support of our team of sponsors whom I’m sure will enjoy the coming season.” The new kit will be unveiled at the Stags Ipro Cup match against Oxford on February 21. While kit sponsorship is now complete for the Stags League 1 team there remain opportunities for player & match sponsorship and perimeter advertising opportunities at reasonable rates.
  13. League 1 predictions

    Skolars play Broncos U19 this Saturday while the Stags play Broncos 19's the following Saturday so that might be a guide of South East aspirations in 2016.
  14. League 1 predictions

    Will tell you in September.
  15. 'London' who owns the name

    Can't see that the prefix did much for London Wasps, London Irish or London Monarchs. Then again Tottenham Hotspurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Harlequins etc seem to do OK without the prefix. I think it's more about substance than style.