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About mmp

  • Birthday 02/02/1981

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    Bury Broncos -
  1. The NCL is the highest level of the community game. to be in the NCL you have to meet various criteria including junior set ups. personal view, that criteria needs protecting as it encourages proper community development. allowing pro clubs to enter their 'reserves' wouldn't be in the interests of the community game, or the sport as a whole, in my view.
  2. Is Stu littler on books at Swinton this year? Started at Salford in late 90s
  3. "They" (god knows who "they" are) did not push them to summer. It was a line peddled by various people at the time and unfortunately and inaccurately reported in publications like the League Express. There was a winter league, then there became a summer option. About 1/3 of clubs indicated straight away that they wanted to switch and then more and more then chose to do the same. Clubs made choices. Within a couple of years there were fewer than 10 choosing to play in winter.
  4. Cracking amber and black kit that! For anyone who's been following the history thread, the amber and black kit above is a replica of the kit worn by Radcliffe who started playing Northern Union in 1896 and had one season as a pro-club. The kit was commissioned by Bury Broncos to celebrate 120years of rugby league in the Borough of Bury (though there have been some quite substantial gaps in that 120yr period!)
  5. Researching Radcliffe (the side mentioned before) and then Radcliffe Rangers and Prestwich Church Institute I regularly stumbled on references to Leigh Shamrocks sometimes playing in the Manchester and District League.
  6. I was invited to a function in the Presidents Suite of Twickenham earlier this year. It is am imposing picture.
  7. And I'd agree with all of that. I think there was also a unwillingness to recognise how society around the game was changing and to then respond. People had the blinkers on thinking that somehow, our sport was unaffected and didn't need to move with the times.
  8. Penned with passion because the false statements have been made time and time again but never justified. Its always 'I know different', or 'an official from a club (always unnamed) told me' etc. used to evidence for a conspiracy that saw 50 - 60 clubs start in winter, end up in summer. Really? 50 - 60 clubs, their officials, their members etc. were all duped? Like others on the thread - I was a club official who was at the various league meetings over the period. Not coerced, not 'bribed', not forced to do anything... My club had an extraordinary general meeting of all members, they were presented with the two options, committee members on both sides of the debate explained their view, the members debated it, they voted on it, and that was that. It was really that simple. It's disrespectful to all those involved to suggest anything else occurred.
  9. I agree we need answers. But there will no coming together if it cant be accepted by some that the switch occurred through clubs wanting it - and then others choosing to take it.
  10. An utter lie spread by those with a chip on their shoulder and to be blunt, a propaganda exercise in publications like the League Express that spread those lies without checking the facts. When the first vote took place the NWC around 1/3 of clubs voted to switch to summer. They did do so as independent clubs for what they thought was right for those clubs - not under duress. That vote made clear there was an appetite to play summer rugby in the North West The RFL proposed setting up a summer league for those who wanted it (at least 1/3 of the NW teams) - and the NWC league emailed that proposal to clubs so that any wanting to take the option (note - you could stay in winter if you wanted) could form the summer league. Also note - and to their credit - it was the NWC league who forwarded on the email to clubs giving them the option - not as was appalling reported in the LE at the time, a secret emailing of clubs by the RFL to undermine the NWC. That was false reporting and set the tone for the 'traditionalists' who simply made things up to try and justify a conspiracy theory around what was going on - they couldn't get their hard around why clubs were voluntarily making the switch in the interests of their clubs (and members) so came up with all sorts of sometimes bizarre statements. With the summer league then forming people then voted with their feet - about 1/3 went straight away completing a short winter season to allow the switch to summer. Then a big block moved in the spring leaving what, around 20 teams left to play winter. By the following winter that was down to fewer than 10. The idea that the RFL could 'systematically dismantle' in the way you make out is false - its just a perpetuation of the conspiracy theory. The RFL set up a competition in response to a clear appetite from many clubs to go to summer - clubs made their own decisions. I have huge respect for those who put the time and effort running the NWC but it was operating as if it was the 1980s and many clubs wanted it modernised but it wouldn't. It was no surprise to me that so many wanted to quit.
  11. I'm not ranting. And my point is nothing to do with the nature of the Academies. My point is - as your list showed - there are too many Academies for the base of the pyramid that exists in the sport. If there are only 500 players playing the game in the NW in what is the eligible age group (which is shocking in my view) then there cannot be any rationale for 5 academies covering the same geography.
  12. I'm not saying it's damaging to the kids. I'm saying that too many academies is damaging the sport in the NW. Proven by the chaos which was the NW amateur RL season at those age groups in recent years... I haven't got recordings of the arguments between pro clubs and amateur sides (though I witnessed a number from both sides) but I'm sure the league minutes will record the issues. As for the list of 'Academies' - that is a list of colleges in towns where ther are clubs with academies. Two of those arrangements listed I've been to and seen and another one of those arrangements I know very very well and I can tell you - it's not as you're describing it. It is a club and some of the academy players go to the education establishment listed - not even a majority. It's not a requirement for the academy player to go to the college at all and in reality the ones who are going to the college are the local lads who would have gone there anyway. The lads on the academy who live out of the town go in some cases, to the college where they live. The academies are not like those in premier football where players live, eat, sleep within an academy setting. You keep referring to them as 'facilities' as if they're the latter and they are not.
  13. I'm not sure the Academies actually operate as you describe but thats another matter. Most I think (unless there has been radical change) simply train with the club and when it comes to facilities - its a training facility for sport. The academic side is provided through typical education routes. It's also not an issue wit the facility if such a facility existed. Its a simple numbers game that there isn't the base to support so many academies as exist. The situation with the Academy programmes and the impact on North West (don't know about the other side) was as follows: Pro clubs signed players up for their structures and placed restrictions on them playing for their amateur clubs Because of the ratio described before that meant some amateur sides had insufficient players to continue because it was 5 pro clubs effectively taking 1/5 of the whole playing population at that age group out of the fixture programme. A club might have had 17 players on the books and 5 signed with a pro side leaving them with just 12. Some of the top amateur sides might have 6/7/8 lads on pro clubs programmes. An injury, holidays etc might leave a side with 8/9 on a given weekend so games started to get cancelled. Scale that up to an entire regional league programme and you can see why it might It threaten a whole competition. Some sides folded. The lads not selected for the pro ranks in many cases, disappeared from the game as their 'club' couldn't field a side. It wouldn't be as bad if the pro clubs actively sought to integrate the lads they didn't keep back into the amateur game but the truth was that once let go, they are literally let go. Often they didn't come back to the community ranks. I'll say it again - in the whole of the North West league this season there are just 25 sides at U18 and there is no U17 league anymore. That is 500(ish) players. Thats in a geography with 5 SL clubs and 3 other semi-pro sides. No other sport has such a disjointed pyramid structure and its a sad reflection on the game. In my view, the situation was part caused by the 'over-recruiting' of the pro clubs over recent years of lads to fill their books even when they knew the lads in question would never make the grade. Lads were used to make up numbers and that wasn't fair on them or good for the sport.
  14. Going back to me earlier point - the numbers simply do not justify every pro-club having an academy. It would (and has been shown to) be damaging to the sport overall. So no issue with a minimum standard debate but it shouldn't include academies in my view. Far better would be a minimum expectation around investment in community rugby league (at the U11 level and down in my view). That wouldn't be in the immediate interest of any club of course - but much better for the sport as a whole as we need urgent action to grow the base of the pyramid or else we will keep having the same discussions year after year and after year without the underlying issue ever fixed.