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The pros and cons of club link ups

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I've been thinking about the agreements made between Super League and Championship clubs recently and would like to know your thoughts on the issue.

I can see the benefits, whereby young players from SL clubs can play at a higher level than the U20s (although I understand this is due to change) and in a league with more intensity that would hopefully better prepare them for life in the top league. On the flip side, the Championship club are likely to have access to improved training and facilities, which is what I understand St Helens provide for Rochdale.

The negative way of looking at this seems to be that the Super League clubs are simply offloading a bunch of kids onto the Championship sides because they stand little chance of breaking into the first team. It does seem that the lower league clubs who have linked up with a Super League club have little chance of making it to Super League, although it has been established in recent times that some teams don't wish for themselves to be considered.

I like to think I look at everything positively so hope this would, if some of the 'loaned' players don't make it at Super League level, help to further strengthen the lowers leagues, which are very competitive as we all know.

What are your thoughts on it?

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I don't like it.

I can't fault the logic of it but it just seems wrong. It just seems like SL teams running reserves in pro leagues (like they do in Spanish football) but without actually taking that step.

Championship clubs with no cash will leap on this as a way to access better players cheaply but to me this genuinely devalues the Championship, more so than the lack of P+R.

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In my opinion the system is unfair to the Cumbrian clubs because of the distances between their clubs and the nearest SL clubs. Travelling costs, etc, effectively mean that they cannot take full advantage of training facilities, sports science, physios, etc, the same as other clubs within easy reach of each other. The RFL then compound this by stating that SL clubs can link with second clubs but the second club must come from areas outside the M62 area, i.e. Cumbria, the North East, the Midlands, the South West, London, Wales, France, meaning the 3 Cumbrian clubs promoted fall in to second club categories, which is the case with Whitehaven being the second club for St Helens. How can this be a fair system when some start from a different position to others?

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You keep promoting your blog but you shy away from answering my question of how is this system fair to the Cumbrian clubs?

Whats stopping the Cumbrian clubs from linking up? Saints have with Whitehaven.

Whitehaven are getting Saints fringe first team players, Rochdale are getting Saints best under 20s players.

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Whats stopping the Cumbrian clubs from linking up? Saints have with Whitehaven.

Whitehaven are getting Saints fringe first team players, Rochdale are getting Saints best under 20s players.

Saints have linked with Haven as their second linked club, Rochdale are their first linked club. Do you honestly believe that Haven can get the same full benefits of this agreement that Rochdale can such as sharing training facilities, sports science, physios, etc, etc, which is part and parcel of the agreements. The cost of travelling alone would be exhorbitant, that is why Cumbria is included for SL clubs to choose their second choice clubs to link with. These agreements are not just meant to be for which players your club can pick up cheaply!!! Saints Under 20's players will be playing in Saints Under 19's team surely?

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Saints have linked with Haven as their second linked club, Rochdale are their first linked club. Do you honestly believe that Haven can get the same full benefits of this agreement that Rochdale can such as sharing training facilities, sports science, physios, etc, etc, which is part and parcel of the agreements. The cost of travelling alone would be exhorbitant, that is why Cumbria is included for SL clubs to choose their second choice clubs to link with. These agreements are not just meant to be for which players your club can pick up cheaply!!! Saints Under 20's players will be playing in Saints Under 19's team surely?

Whitehaven get first pick of St Helens fringe players, that much is true. How the rest of the agreement will work out remains to be seen. I don't see why Dave Woods and Whitehaven would enter into the partnership without more benefits that though, we'll see.

Saints former under 20s coach is now head coach at Rochdale. They are getting his old under 20s players who Saints wish to keep on, but aren't yet ready for their first team.

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Ultimately, CC1 clubs have to get players from somewhere. We've got lads who've played at junior and senior academy level with half a dozen SL clubs and who haven't made the grade. Some have played for us and gone back up a level (or two). Some stay at this level and some go down a level or two. The last season half of our team seemed to come from the Widnes/St Helens/Warrington triangle, so having 5 lads available to us on a regular basis from the same area won't make much difference. Indeed, we've just signed five guys who originated in Saints Academy under Ian Talbot, who've gone on to have careers with other clubs (one at York, one who won a CC! championship with Swinton) - so it's just another route to source players. Indeed, Ian Talbot has said that the 5 players available from Saints have to play themselves into selection and keep their places. If a team that's winning doesn't contain one of them, he won't change that. Equally, if an experienced player becomes available, it's possible that they could guest with us for a week or two (like Willie Mason, Anthony Minicello and Todd Carney did with Newtown in the NSW Cup), which creates interest and puts a few more bums on seats.

Yes, this new structure is a step into the unknown and a step away from 'traditional' models, but as Rochdale has a history of 'pioneering', I think it's worth exploring. Exposing our club to the processes and practices of one of the world's most successful clubs, you'd imagine we'd learn something on the way.

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I don't like it.

I can't fault the logic of it but it just seems wrong. It just seems like SL teams running reserves in pro leagues (like they do in Spanish football) but without actually taking that step.

Championship clubs with no cash will leap on this as a way to access better players cheaply but to me this genuinely devalues the Championship, more so than the lack of P+R.

I'm with you Tim on this, I fear that the few supporters the championship clubs have could walk away from them if it gets to a stage where players are coming and going all the time, also if your supporting a championship/under 23's team why not go the full hog and go and watch Super League.

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Thanks for efforts assembling all the facts on this, and your own opinion, it does help to form an opinion for reply to the OP.

One to think about......

I don't want people to shout from the rooftops saying that this is the best thing yo ever happen to the sport, because it isn't.

I just want people to see that this might just be a good thing for the game, and that it certainly isn't the death of Championship Rugby League.

Is a bit of perspective too much to ask for? It certainly appears that way on the Featherstone forum.

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Is a bit of perspective too much to ask for? It certainly appears that way on the Featherstone forum.

the zealots have spoken.

You have sold your soul, and if you think any different then you don't know what you are talking about.

let that be an end to it.

on the other hand these are the same people 'had it on good authority' that Crusaders were flown to away games by private jet when they were in the Championship, and who only within the last couple of weeks knew 'from a realiable source from within the club' that Salford were moving back to The Willows.

edit: of course there are caveats about this initiative as Tim2 quite rightly points out, but the reaction that you and others who can see the benefits of it have recieved from some circles-especially the one you mention is so deep in the backwoods it's suffocating in leaf mould.

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the zealots have spoken.

You have sold your soul, and if you think any different then you don't know what you are talking about.

let that be an end to it.

on the other hand these are the samee people who 'had it on good authority' that Crusaders were flown to away games by private jet when they were in the Championship, and who only within the last couple of weeks knew 'from a realiable source from within the club' that Salford were moving back to The Willows.

edit: of course there are caveats about this initiative as Tim2 quite rightly points out, but the reaction that you and others who can see the benefits of it have recieved from some circles-especially the one you mention is so deep in the backwoods it's suffocating in leaf mould.

Maybe if people like you actually paid into these championship clubs instead of picking up free passes they might be in a better state

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Maybe if people like you actually paid into these championship clubs instead of picking up free passes they might be in a better state

I really don't want to have to say this but you as with so many other things you open your semi literate mouth about, do not have a clue about any financial contribution I have made to Featherstone Rovers in all the years I've worked for them.

By the way, and Gav Wilson, whom I've met quite a few times, as we were both associated with the same amateur club: wont thank me for saying this- has more passion and committment to Rugby League than you could conjure up in your dampest of dreams. Also unlike you has dignity.

edit|: who would be in a better state?

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I really don't want to have to say this but you as with so many other things you open your semi literate mouth about, do not have a clue about any financial contribution I have made to Featherstone Rovers in all the years I've worked for them.

By the way, and Gav Wilson, whom I've met quite a few times, as we were both associated with the same amateur club: wont thank me for saying this- has more passion and committment to Rugby League than you could conjure up in your dampest of dreams. Also unlik you has dignity.

edit|: who would be in a better state?

Will put my awards on the table anytime against his and yours and money on it if you like

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Will put my awards on the table anytime against his and yours and money on it if you like

I don't indulge in willy measuring contests on the internets. Sorry.

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I don't indulge in willy measuring contests on the internets. Sorry.

Well he made a statement there questioning my passion and commitment in the rugby lets see him back it up with something, hes the one saying yours blinds mine, let him back it up with some facts

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Well he made a statement there questioning my passion and commitment in the rugby lets see him back it up with something, hes the one saying yours blinds mine, let him back it up with some facts

Without wanting to sound like a child, you started it.

Thats the difference between us and you my friend, we are very passionate about our club and we dislike our neighbours its socialised into us, ...you however have obviously very little passion for your club thats why the fact you are a feeder club doesnt really bother you

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Well he made a statement there questioning my passion and commitment in the rugby lets see him back it up with something, hes the one saying yours blinds mine, let him back it up with some facts

You belittled gav's on your club's 'forum' whilst knowing nothing about him or what he does or has done, or his background.

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I don't want people to shout from the rooftops saying that this is the best thing yo ever happen to the sport, because it isn't.

I just want people to see that this might just be a good thing for the game, and that it certainly isn't the death of Championship Rugby League.

Is a bit of perspective too much to ask for? It certainly appears that way on the Featherstone forum.

I was all set to give a considered reply but the war broke out so I'll post this evening, maybe hostilities will have ceased by then.

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You belittled gav's on your club's 'forum' whilst knowing nothing about him or what he does or has done, or his background.

You really are blind to your own behaviour arnt you, your the one who belittled everyone on ther Rovers forum just for dareing to disagree with Gav whatever his name is. You made a statement his commitment blinds mine, well prove it

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edit:

You really are blind to your own behaviour arnt you, your the one who belittled everyone on ther Rovers forum just for dareing to disagree with Gav whatever his name is. You made a statement his commitment blinds mine, well prove it

I don't have to

and the term 'blinds' your's or anyone else is not in my vocabulary.

committment transcensds diplomas, honours, certificates.

The Rovers 'forum' belittles itself repeatdedly-I gave two examples.

Gav Wilson-that's his name not 'whoever he is'- clue, it says so on his posts, posted perfectly logical, reasoned and civil thoughts on the subject on your 'forum',and was rubbished for it. He was incredulous about a comment you made about your neighbouring club on another thread and your response was the one quoted on this thread.

edit: on second thoughts, you are right-again! yes you've got one over on me. You are the bestest. Gav doesn't need me or anyone else to bull him up.

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I was all set to give a considered reply but the war broke out so I'll post this evening, maybe hostilities will have ceased by then.

Think tomorrow may be a better time.

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edit:

I don't have to

and the term 'blinds' your's or anyone else is not in my vocabulary.

committment transcensds diplomas, honours, certificates.

The Rovers 'forum' belittles itself repeatdedly-I gave two examples.

Gav Wilson-that's his name not 'whoever he is'- clue, it says so on his posts, posted perfectly logical, reasoned and civil thoughts on the subject on your 'forum',and was rubbished for it. He was incredulous about a comment you made about your neighbouring club on another thread and your response was the one quoted on this thread.

edit: on second thoughts, you are right-again! yes you've got one over on me. You are the bestest. Gav doesn't need me or anyone else to bull him up.

You dont need anyone to get one over on you, every time you post you make yourself look a complete clown

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