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About bbfaz

  • Birthday August 31

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    The Outer Reaches of your Mind

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  1. Firstly, it's not just about London but the Home counties too. Essex and Hertfordshire (with the recent exception of the up-and-down return of Hemel) are now in the East region. Berkshire and Buckinghamshire are in the West. That leaves Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex as part of the "London" region and they have two teams between them, both in rebuilding mode, across four counties, totalling 4.7m in population. That is terrible. It's inarguably terrible. It's the definition of failure. Surrey/Guildford, Sussex, Invicta and Weald have all gone in the last couple of years. The situation went from promising to not good to dreadful PDQ. The geography of Kent, Surrey and Sussex (and the way Surrey in particular runs into London) should support at least six more teams. Weald and Crawley drew from across county borders when they were run properly. At one point, many of these places had teams or players or even some dreamer with Photoshop. I see none of that now. It's dead. Dead dead. If we want to discuss London, Hammersmith and Weald are down to practically one team now. Chargers are having a go with the twos. This has been discussed before, people will pop their heads into the conversation. West London is utterly massive. You could have a team in Uxbridge or Hayes or Ruislip and bring in a whole new audience and it wouldn't affect another team. Likewise, outer East London since Barking & Dagenham folded. There's Brentwood and Southend on and off but a team in Rainham or Upminster or even further north in Chadwell Heath wouldn't dent other teams. Chingford, Enfield, Edgware. These places aren't going to damage what's there. A club in Sutton, for locals who can't get to Clapham to train for Chargers (who play in New Malden) wouldn't affect anybody. Things aren't going well in London.
  2. bbfaz

    Regional leagues 2018

    It's a two stage league plus playoffs.
  3. bbfaz

    Regional leagues 2018

    Its youngest club was up for it so long as everybody else was, Bowes. And they had furthest to travel.
  4. Agreed. As is the "we need to consolidate" attitude which means we're shrinking rather than growing.
  5. Part of the problem is that you can't get funding for open age teams. So you either start with juniors, hope you can build them up and go all ages. Or you start with adults and chase junior funding for something you likely don't have any passion for. Then we're not even talking about the issue with having somewhere to play or people to run a club.
  6. Some cases they did, some cases they didn't. To both questions.
  7. For me, the concern is that there's not even a hint of replacements or volunteers that could keep a club running. For all the talk of "steady juniors" you can only do that in the regions where you have full seasons. The classic London junior path is to play until you're 16, get a Saturday job, go to uni, play a bit of union and get the bug back when you're 22. There's no real point in having juniors in that case, especially considering the needs of a junior club are very different to those of open age. A few years ago, there would be teams making noise every winter and then not making a start line. Now, there's nothing. Not a peep. Not even a random bloke in some small town, talking big but delivering little to nothing.
  8. Weald Warriors disappeared in 2016, never to return. Invicta Panthers Fleet Mustangs (though they've always been a bit occasional) We're in decline. It's clear that, at this point, expansion has failed and the RFL and the meddlers and the supposed self-appointed anointed ones are making things worse. I have no solution.
  9. bbfaz

    Regional leagues 2018

    Whenever I've seen these videos, and also when Reading played Swindon a couple of years ago, it usually takes a nice bit of play or a well-run line to breach the Swindon defence. On the other side, they score most of theirs by barreling over opposing defenders. If you can sit the oppo down whilst making sure they don't sit you down, you'll win most of your games. Not a criticism, the best try of the bunch was the Swindon try out wide, but they'll eat you alive if you don't get your defence right.
  10. bbfaz

    Harry jepson 2018

    Keep your hair on guys, they announced last year that they're doing both.
  11. bbfaz

    Coventry Dragons

    I assume that the guy from Coventry Dragons is either talking about whoever is the Clubs and Competitions Manager within the RFL assigned to the Midlands region, the other clubs in the region or a combination of both. There has been talk on this board about how having Coventry and Northampton so far ahead of everybody else has ruined everything. Now those clubs have been junked also for whatever reason. It seems Coventry Bears' recruitment is also a factor. I am bothered by this for a few reasons. Firstly, our club had put together a package for our players to go to the Northampton game on a coach, stay overnight and make a weekend of it. To leave the league after the second matchday is unfair on everybody else. Secondly, this whole league structure was put together to facilitate the addition of these teams and Hemel. Creating a second division was not in the best interests of most of the clubs involved. I personally submitted a structure that was dismissed out of hand because the RFL Clubs and Competitions were so determined to do this two-tier league. I told them it was too soon, I told them it was too much, they only listen to "trusted" people who know no more than anybody else in private. It's another shambles, a crisis of their own creation. Some people create their own storms and then moan when it rains. I once told one of these C&Cs managers that they are an incredibly disingenuous group, for whom gaslighting is their main weapon. It feels to me that they want people like me to walk away so they can have a quieter life. We've lost four teams in the past couple of seasons that aren't coming back and aren't being replaced because they would rather talk a good game about "consolidation" when there's nothing to consolidate. They need to stick to growing the game, something they have no actual interest in or idea of how to do. When things reach critical mass, then you make changes.
  12. bbfaz

    Coventry Dragons

    Not sure how seriously to take that. The stuff some of us have said publicly but this guy openly blames Midlands RL without explanation?
  13. bbfaz

    Coventry Dragons

    #fakenews Seriously, what a waste of time.
  14. bbfaz

    NRL's flawed stadium strategy

    So they have such sweetheart, subsidised deals with ANZ that there's no incentive to play at home? Fantastic.
  15. bbfaz

    BARLA Southern Cup

    I like the concept, I can't see how it'll fit into the season. Some clubs in the West of England have barely begun pre-season training by the end of April, even the places that have begun training can barely field a team. There's a reason why some regions have dumped the cup altogether or play league/cup double headers, it's because you can't practically fit all the games in between the first week of May and the middle of August. Looking at this season, most regions have 16 weekends, two of which are bank holiday weekends, to generally play a 10 game season plus two rounds of playoffs. That's basically 12 games in 14 weekends because people can't play bank holidays. London added a gameweek before the Mayday bank holiday for this reason. School holidays, music festivals and just sitting in the park reading a book or going out into the countryside for a drive; these things hold appeal too. This proposal is to play the preliminary rounds during that 12 games-in-14-weekends season (or perhaps the weekend before that) and then play the semi-finals and finals the week after the season ends, when probably 60-90% (depending on the club) of your bog-standard suburban/provincial players are suddenly devoted to Rugby Union. Probably by that point, you'll be down to the handful of non-heartland clubs whose players are League-first so it won't matter I guess. I hate being the "it'll never work" guy, I really do. If we were to get into my ideal March-to-October minus the school holidays season, I'd lay out the welcome mat and make plans for trips to Cwmbran or Redruth or Boston. This works if you're in a merit league or you don't have 10 league fixtures but, perhaps because or maybe even despite playing midweek, I can't see there being space for it. If you regionalise it, maybe you create space for it midweek on off-weeks and so forth. Perhaps one ground becomes the "cup ground" because they have lights, I don't know. However, as I see it, there are a number of obstacles.