• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

135 Excellent

About bbfaz

  • Birthday August 31

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

3,008 profile views
  1. I'm not sure it can be quite so uniform, certainly from the Division 1s downwards. Right now, we don't have teams to fit this out. Going through it region-by-region. Midlands: Takes away the top two teams that are dragging along the rest of the region or raising the bar too high for clubs currently, depending on your viewpoint. Allows the region to remake itself again, allows the struggling teams to reform. I think they could or should go back to a single table or organise in groups like the West. London & SE: Again, takes away two of the best organised teams and certainly two of the best squads, as well as an "A" team. I think it will lead to a realignment of players. People wanted to play in the CLS for Chargers and I think that will be the same with Chargers and Wests. I think it will help Skolars with their issues with reserve players because they'll be playing a higher level also. In London, you don't necessarily play for a local club anyway. As such, I think certain stronger teams that remain at the London Premier level will be weaker, such as Hammersmith. It will be largely suburban and provincial league, more South East League than London and I think it should be rebranded as such. Furthermore, I don't think Eastern remain viable in the London Leagues, given every other team in Herts and Essex have moved to the East Region. They either have to move up or move over IMO. East: East would only lose Hemel, who've only really just shown up anyway. Promote a team, get on with it, rejig the lower divisions. IMO, should gain Eastern if they don't move to the Eastern Premier. South West: Still not viable as a region, unless something drastically changes. They've likely removed the two self-styled "county" teams, one of which was the killer away journey. I don't know what state the teams that were in the league back in 2015 are in. Could Exeter, North Devon and Plymouth ever come back? There were teams in Exmouth and Yeovil in the past, could they return? In the latter case, Somerset Vikings have moved north to Weston and so there's no RL in South Somerset. Dorset County Giants are having games this year, though they seem to be based out of Wareham rather than Weymouth this time, which would be better for pulling players from across Dorset but more difficult for travel. Teignmouth Trojans seemed to turn up this season, beat Devon and then didn't fulfil the fixture against Cornish Rebels. It's all very "if my auntie had knackers, she'd be my uncle", I know but if Plymouth, Exeter, North Devon, Teignmouth and Dorset County could play a season, that'd be a starter point. West: I know teams are ambitious in the region and we've already seen teams fold this season. If Swindon keep an "A" team going, you're probably looking at 8 teams going forward to next season. Maybe Reading, though that entirely depends on the club themselves as well as the structure because it's otherwise better for them to stay in London & SE. In fact, Reading are the wild card because their presence makes a "South Central" league of Surrey, Sussex, Reading, Southampton and Portsmouth viable. Wales: I don't know enough about Wales, don't really follow it. I was under the impression that the Welsh Premier was now just South Wales clubs. They'd need a lot more to be viable. Similar to the South West, there are lots of places where there has been League but it's not there anymore.
  2. I think some of that is wishful thinking, Jasper. This is probably for the CLS thread though. What has been circulated to clubs is the following: my comments Two Premier Divisions - Western and Eastern - of 8 to 10 teams though probably starting at 6 to 8 Regional Division 1s of 6 to 8 teams, representing the current six regions; Wales, South West and West of England feed to the Western Premier - Midlands, East and London & SE feed to the Eastern Premier. Regional Division 2s to be organised/reorganised as merit competitions with the top placed team/teams to get entry into the Division 1 playoffs. how very Brazilian! Western Premier Eastern Premier | | +-------+-------+ +---------+---------+ | | | | | | | | | | | | Wales 1 SW 1 West 1 Midlands 1 East 1 London 1 | | | | | | | | | | | | Wales 2 SW 2 West 2 Midlands 2 East 2 London 2 They had 14 expressions of interest last month. Western: Bath RL, Cheltenham, Cornish Rebels, Devon, Oxford Cavs, Somerset, Swindon, Torfaen Eastern: Coventry Dragons, Northampton, Hemel, Wests, Chargers, Skolars A. They have rules in mind for entry that are: Committee-related (proven administrators that need references from league committees) success-related (finishing in the top three of your league - doesn't say across how long a tenure) tenure-related (completed at least two seasons in a recognised fixtured competition) monetary-related (need to provide costed budgets, especially for travel), and facility-related (written agreement to use facilities that meet a minimum standard). Beyond that, nobody is going really know anything until September, as the deadline for formal applications is 31st August. Having a quick look at the criteria, they may have to more loosely apply the rules than they probably want to. Coventry, Northampton, Wests and Chargers will be fine but Skolars A have been a bit flaky the last few years. Hemel might be OK as well, as I think it's the Hemel A community side and they'll probably meet the success criteria. As for the West, Cornish and Devon are going to need a waiver, given their league collapsed. I assume Swindon, Cheltenham and Torfaen are shoe-ins based on passing all the criteria, which leaves Bath, Oxford and Somerset. Oxford may pass the success criteria. However, Bath are a new side, I can't see how they pass the success or tenure criteria and Somerset aren't good enough on the field either, though they are steady.
  3. I thought these pools were drawn as a Div 1 and Div 2 structure?
  4. Sorry if I confused anybody, I know I spoke to bowes. Northampton and Coventry Dragons are on the list of applicants for the Eastern Division of the new Southern RL Conference. Would the Midlands go back to one long division like it was before? After Leicester folded, it seems like they're the only two on steady ground and they both want to move up.
  5. Will Coventry and Northampton moving up a level help or hinder?
  6. Didn't think you were having a pop at all, RP. I like these discussions so I can compare our mindset with others. I remember back in 2013 when the Regional Clubs and Competitions Manager told me that Hammersmith were like the best pub side in the country and being mystified and a little jealous that things seemed so comparatively easy for them. I'm just trying to explain why we went the way we did. To be fair, this has far exceeded the scope of what I first envisaged. That was supposed to be a small team for the local lads. Wins or losses didn't matter but once our chairman got involved and then when it got delayed a whole year, it just snowballed. We went into the first season with a lot more momentum. The one thing our chairman concentrated on was making sure the experience for players on a matchday and at training was slick. So some players have played at higher levels or played for other clubs and packed it in. They come to our training and there's a plan, there's proper training equipment, our lads have a bit of spirit about them and they want to buy in. Not only that, they can get there by bus or by car or by train. It's a win-win. The credit goes to the chairman, who has stuck to his guns on "no pay, no play" and selecting guys to start who trained. We've lost players over this but when far more experienced players have stuck by it. When your club captain accepts the bench because he didn't train one session out of the year, how can we molly-coddle somebody else? However, even then, it hasn't been easy. The team have come together, they're making far fewer mistakes and giving away fewer penalties. Players are pushing the recruitment. They're the ones bringing people into the game or back to the game. Sometimes their mate isn't all that good, sometimes the mate happens to have played for Stade Francais as a teenager.
  7. Sorry, Bob, we're going to Brussels to return the favour to the Gorillas! I don't disagree RP, I'm just saying that we had to do what worked for us. Every team is different. We're currently fairly blessed to have an extended player base of over 60, who have boiled down to a core group of around 30, who want to play for us and like that we're independent. We have to be thankful to Charlton Park RFC, who hosted us when our home ground was unavailable. We are in a good position now. In 2015, we couldn't get a workable option - one too expensive, one too remote, one too riddled with politics. Now we have a couple of decent suitors and have a club where we're happy. When our previous club played at Warlingham, we became too reliant on the locals, as it was part of the deal. It's OK when they're interested but when the interest waned, we were left with nothing. So given we have a diverse player base and are not reliant on any one club to provide players, it works for us to be independent. Will it work long term? I don't know but we feel more comfortable in this situation than we were in a previous situation. Here we're an asset, before we felt like a liability. Ultimately, as I said, you need the right combination of players, volunteers, coaches and location. If one of those things is lacking, it falls apart. It's different everywhere I guess. We are called South London and are at a multi-sports club with no RU because that's what works for us. We're in an area where the name of the suburb plus Rugby is Union. Beckenham Rugby IS Beckenham RFC. Bromley Rugby IS Bromley RFC. I know we may have offended people or put noses out of joint by using South London but it had to be a separate thing. South London Rugby IS League. We weren't trying to pass ourselves off as Storm, we were trying to distinguish ourselves from Union.
  8. RP, I think some things have changed since 2007. Firstly, the existence of Hammersmith and latterly Wests means the best Antipodean talent is concentrated into fewer teams and not spread much more evenly across the region. Also, success begat success and the inspiration of Storm and others saw the development of other clubs in other areas. People aren't coming down from Essex for a game of Rugby League, they have their own setups in those areas. People do travel, we have lads who come up from Sevenoaks and even as far away as Biddenden. In saying that, I think that it's much harder to get around the city than it was 10 years ago by car. For instance, to travel around the M25 on a Saturday is to basically sit in traffic. I would say that location is important. Ability to get to the ground is important. So if you wanted a team in, say, Enfield, it's important that your players can get to training and to games. Part of the reason for the existence of Chargers was that training had to be more accessible. IMO, as a result, there has become a sharp divide between central/niche sides and suburban/provincial sides. I think it's easy to make an argument that we have more in common with Surrey Sharks than Wests Warriors. As for the League at a Union club thing, I'm not saying it can't work. However, I feel it either needs to come from the Union club or they need to own it. We had the issue with two clubs in London/Surrey where they had expectations of us and those weren't communicated to us. I sat down and tried to come up with a way we could run a League club our of a Union club to sell to Union clubs. Everybody was impressed with it but, ultimately, we didn't want to be somebody's bunny but wanted to run our own shop. Players have responded to this too and guys who are League-only are playing because it's independent. Union is so different to how I was when I was a teenager. There's no loyalty anymore, people move from club to club. One player moves to a bigger club to get paid, his mates follow, even if it's only to play in the 2s/3s. We're partially responsible for that too. League makes Union players better and fitter. It's little surprise that both union clubs had exoduses after we stopped playing there because players improve and they make contacts and they realise they could get into a first team of a higher level side.
  9. It's an amateur club, what freaking support do you expect there to be? There is no money, no sponsorship. Clubs are hand to mouth and rely on their members tipping up subs and the goodwill of their landlords. Elmbridge have one of the best setups in the SE. If you're so damned smart, get off the couch and do something somewhere. As it is, I made my suggestions for where the best places are to set up more amateur RL, based solely on geography.
  10. It may have been something similar to the issues that ruined Origin. A chunk of the best players in Spain play for the police and army.
  11. Of course because RL is a massive cash cow. Sadly there's no emoticon for sarcasm here.
  12. Elmbridge have been going as a junior side for years. The open age packed it in back in 2014 but Kevin Rudd is trying to resurrect the open age. He's a good guy, he was the RLEF for a few years, they could use all the help they could get though. It's their ground, it's long-established, they get good junior numbers. It is an amazing ground, no, but it's theirs. I think public transport connections are overrated when it has been mainly a junior club in one of the richest parts of the country. Everybody has a car out there, especially if you have kids. If there was an issue in the past, it's that open age wasn't a focus. The club were right, people weren't putting their money where their mouths were, literally and figuratively. The players were right, the club put no effort into making open age a success. It's a partnership between club principals, the players and the coaches. When that breaks down, there quickly become issues. Esher RFC were interested in League a few years back, 2013/14 IIRC. There were two completely separate threads to it though. Somebody was using the amateur field for some junior RL in the summer, a couple of age groups, under the name Esher Lions. I don't know when they packed up but they aren't fielding this year and I don't think they fielded last year. Separately, Mike Benson - formerly of basically everybody in London amateur RL - was trying to set up a team for his mates in 2013 at Old Paulines in Thames Ditton called Thames Ditton Tigers. When Paulines couldn't host them, they ended up at Esher RFC for matchdays but trained on Clapham Common. He bought a job lot of the green and black hooped Exiles shirts and they did OK in the Merit League. However, it went wrong the following season. They were a one-man band and Benno renamed the team Esher Exiles and got a brand new kit. However, at this point, he signed for Oxford RL and only around for midweek training. It was a pain to get players down to Esher for games, his friend and captain was having to run the team and they put together the odd scratch team before folding.
  13. I'm talking about an amateur team. They had Hainault/Barking & Dagenham Bulldogs and had their own pavilion/changing block in the era down in Dagenham.
  14. It's not London but, like Elmbridge is close enough to London boroughs to influence what happens inside London. This is why in my essay-length post, I shy away from Romford and would look at Chadwell Heath/Redbridge so that they could split Romford.