But they have to sell themselves. Last season at one of the St Albans games I got chatting to a 'new face' watching the game. Local man from St Albans with two boys, likes all forms of rugby and came down to watch. He said he would like to see a higher level of rugby but didn't fancy going into London to watch Skolars/Broncos. I told him about Hemel in League 1 and he said he had never heard of them and didn't know they played rugby league there - and that is only ten miles away from St Albans. If someone living in the next town hasn't heard of them, what chance the whole of Hertfordshire.
On another tack about development, when I got involved with St Albans in the early noughties we had our own development officer. An Australian lad who absolutely loved his rugby and could connect with the kids. He linked up with the Hemel development officer and they set up the Chiltern Junior League - 2 teams from St Albans, 1 from Hatfield, three from Hemel and one from Aylesbury. Seven teams in, I think, two age groups. Not only that, but with the help of committee members and players, both development officers went into their junior and senior schools to run lunchtime and after school rugby league clubs and Saturday matches. ( In St Albans case, It was an amazing success, I was approached by a school teacher I know who wanted to know if all the junior schools in Hatfield stopped playing inter school football, could we as a club teach and run an inter school rugby league league instead. We were also approached by numerous senior schools from Potters Bar, Watford and Welwyn Garden City who all wanted the development officer to come into their schools to teach and play rugby league. The demand far outstripped the resources. We also noticed a drip down effect in that our seniors were getting bigger crowds of juniors and parents to watch. I believe we approached the RFL with all this information and asked for another development officer to help out at Hemel and St Albans. Unfortunately shortly after, funding was withdrawn from our development officer - and numerous others - and we lost him.) Very slowly, as we could not keep up with demand, schools began to drop away. Now we have three very good volunteers running our three junior teams at U11, U13 and U15 level, but apart from these three volunteers we don't get into schools much any more. I think the point I am trying to make as far as Hemel/Herts development is concerned, that there is the demand for rugby league down here, but you have to spend money on a few more development officers to help support the clubs.