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mark richardson

signings

64 posts in this topic

Personally I cant understand the struggle for us to recruit players at this level. There are two teams in Lancashire in our division. And weve only managed to get 16 players signed up (possibly 15 if Hurst goes). And of the 15 id say, in my opinion, there are only about 10 of those good enough for our division. So theres no way im having that we are struggling to find players. Fair enough Leigh are going to get the best players in this area due to their resources, but there must be plenty of talent knocking about.

I get the feeling somehow that this whole stadium thing coming to the fore in recent weeks and our apparent lack of squad may be connected. (lack of funds etc).

A balance does need to be struck, as the cold fact of the matter is that without a fit-for-purpose new stadium at Agecroft the Lions don't have a basis from which success at Championship level can be sustained. Agecroft needs to happen in order for the club to have a foundation from which there is a chance it can grow its income streams and become more competitive, as playing out-of-town with a hard core of around 500 is not a receipe to compete financially against the likes of Featherstone, Halifax, Leigh, Sheffield, etc.

It can come as no surprise that players who last season showed the ability to make an impact at this level have attracted interest from these "bigger" clubs; Tom Armstrong, Adam Higson, Karl Ashall - in this era of 12 month contracts, they can soon be off. Retention is practically impossible if a Super League club comes calling and the player fancies the idea of going full time, as with Phil Joseph and now Alex Hurst - it wouldn't surprise me if the contract terms are such that the Londoners don't even have to pay compensation to the Lions if they decide to take Hurst after his month's trial!

This was always going to be a danger of being the "nearly men" of the Championship in 2012 - that coaches of other sides noticed the better players and targetted them, backed by stronger infrastructure, greater support and ability to pay bigger wages. That effect has been compounded by what now looks like the loss of 3 first team regulars to Australia - surely unprecedented.

If we are facing a season of struggle on the field with a reduced playing budget it will be even more important for the club to show real tangible evidence of progress is being made with Agecroft, as that evidence will be needed to keep people's spirits up. To be frank yet more empty promises of something happening in 3 or 4 weeks won't cut the mustard.

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Doom and gloom and not a ball kicked in anger, nice one Phil. We already know the club will have options on dual reg players, granted we don't know who but has our coach let us down so far, no is the answer. I agree entirely with you that to compete with the top teams in the division we need to expand our crowds and Agecroft is indeed a priority in achieving this.

If this means money is diverted to that budget for a couple of seasons then that's the way it has to be,but there is no saying that's the case. Of the players who have left the two definate Aus bound ones went to better themselves from a work perspective, with Morty a possible follower,Hurst you can't blame and great credit for Swinton in producing a player the Super league clubs deem fit for purpose. As for Ashall possibly money played a part but so possibly did his brother and Higson well he has merely returned from where he came. So really the only one to join the top club as a direct move is Armstrong, the point being I can't see how the club could have altered the course of any of those who left.

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Doom and gloom and not a ball kicked in anger, nice one Phil. We already know the club will have options on dual reg players, granted we don't know who but has our coach let us down so far, no is the answer. I agree entirely with you that to compete with the top teams in the division we need to expand our crowds and Agecroft is indeed a priority in achieving this.

If this means money is diverted to that budget for a couple of seasons then that's the way it has to be,but there is no saying that's the case. Of the players who have left the two definate Aus bound ones went to better themselves from a work perspective, with Morty a possible follower,Hurst you can't blame and great credit for Swinton in producing a player the Super league clubs deem fit for purpose. As for Ashall possibly money played a part but so possibly did his brother and Higson well he has merely returned from where he came. So really the only one to join the top club as a direct move is Armstrong, the point being I can't see how the club could have altered the course of any of those who left.

Alan there is no more "doom and gloom" in my missive than in your own post, with its acceptance several of last season's better players have moved on with the club totally powerless to prevent their departures. Do you honestly believe there's no possible way the club could be stronger and better able to retain its best players? If not, that's true defeatism.

Given the practicalities with the club surviving in the form it currently is, we are broadly saying much the same thing.

This is one key reason why delivery of Agecroft, and getting it right, is fundamental. If people feel confident a new ground is actually happening, they are more likely to accept a relatively short-term knock-on effect of a dip in the quality of the squad.

So: Where is the delivery on the latest promise of a planning application?

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A new ground doesnt give u automatic success, look at salford their crowds have not increased much, if any

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How about we have a pinned thread about agecroft and the future and for once if only please god we stay on topic...?

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Back on topic

Full signing from Warrington. ..Dan Birkett

Utility back...providing cover for the loss of Hurst

We're all doomed!

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Doom and gloom and not a ball kicked in anger, nice one Phil. We already know the club will have options on dual reg players, granted we don't know who but has our coach let us down so far, no is the answer. I agree entirely with you that to compete with the top teams in the division we need to expand our crowds and Agecroft is indeed a priority in achieving this.

If this means money is diverted to that budget for a couple of seasons then that's the way it has to be,but there is no saying that's the case. Of the players who have left the two definate Aus bound ones went to better themselves from a work perspective, with Morty a possible follower,Hurst you can't blame and great credit for Swinton in producing a player the Super league clubs deem fit for purpose. As for Ashall possibly money played a part but so possibly did his brother and Higson well he has merely returned from where he came. So really the only one to join the top club as a direct move is Armstrong, the point being I can't see how the club could have altered the course of any of those who left.

Phil your words..."If we are facing a season of struggle on the field" how can you justify such a comment. How do you know the likes of Andy Ballard, the use of DR players and now the signing of Dan Birkett along with Kash Watkins and Barlow from Halifax won't prove to be master strokes. For goodness sakes save comments like that for once the season has started and you have seen with your own eyes the team struggling.If they do I will hold my hands up and say Phil your a genius.

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A balance does need to be struck, as the cold fact of the matter is that without a fit-for-purpose new stadium at Agecroft the Lions don't have a basis from which success at Championship level can be sustained. Agecroft needs to happen in order for the club to have a foundation from which there is a chance it can grow its income streams and become more competitive, as playing out-of-town with a hard core of around 500 is not a receipe to compete financially against the likes of Featherstone, Halifax, Leigh, Sheffield, etc.

It can come as no surprise that players who last season showed the ability to make an impact at this level have attracted interest from these "bigger" clubs; Tom Armstrong, Adam Higson, Karl Ashall - in this era of 12 month contracts, they can soon be off. Retention is practically impossible if a Super League club comes calling and the player fancies the idea of going full time, as with Phil Joseph and now Alex Hurst - it wouldn't surprise me if the contract terms are such that the Londoners don't even have to pay compensation to the Lions if they decide to take Hurst after his month's trial!

This was always going to be a danger of being the "nearly men" of the Championship in 2012 - that coaches of other sides noticed the better players and targetted them, backed by stronger infrastructure, greater support and ability to pay bigger wages. That effect has been compounded by what now looks like the loss of 3 first team regulars to Australia - surely unprecedented.

If we are facing a season of struggle on the field with a reduced playing budget it will be even more important for the club to show real tangible evidence of progress is being made with Agecroft, as that evidence will be needed to keep people's spirits up. To be frank yet more empty promises of something happening in 3 or 4 weeks won't cut the mustard.

I fully understand the loss of players, and as much as I dont like seeing our best players leave for pastures new, ive gotten used to it over the years. This does not concern me (too much). What does concern me is the fact we dont seem to have replaced them with anyone at all (better or worse). Regardless of the agecroft situation, which we fans are desperately needing updates (or reassurance, or whatever you want to call it), we still need a playing squad for next year!

With regards to alex hurst, as much as I admire his loyalty and his potential, he never really did it for me at swinton, but good luck to him, Broncos might be able to get the best out of him.

Also, what position is Kash Watkins and where did we get him from?

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am i right in thinking if broncos sign hurst we get a transfer fee?

unless theres a clause regarding his release in the case of interest from super league clubs in his contract.

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Usually there is a clause in place, meaning that the player can move to SL without a fee. Fair play to Al, always gave 100% and I enjoyed watching a Swinton lad play for us. Wish him all the best in this next month down South. He was one of the stand-out players in the second half of our last season at Sedgley and scored a big try for us in our promotion winning game against South Wales.

In agreement with the majority of what's been said. We've lost alot of our quality players and signed largely unproven players. Also lost our goalkicker, Morty has won points for us on his own due to his conversion rate over the past two seasons. From what I can tell, Andy Ballard will be taking over goalkicking duty?

We have 17 players signed on, 16 if Hursty leaves. We need a good few more yet, and soon!

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Yawn. Phil, could you have a conversation with yourself about Agecroft in an empty room and still end up arguing?? This thread is called signings. Find a new hobby.

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Back on topic, there does seem to be some kind of problem going on behind the scenes, hope this can be resolved ASAP as this squad lacks quality (drastically). This can be seen from the re-signing of Mills and a lesser extent Watto. Would they be re-signed if we had younger, cheaper, more viable options???

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Phil your words..."If we are facing a season of struggle on the field" how can you justify such a comment. How do you know the likes of Andy Ballard, the use of DR players and now the signing of Dan Birkett along with Kash Watkins and Barlow from Halifax won't prove to be master strokes. For goodness sakes save comments like that for once the season has started and you have seen with your own eyes the team struggling.If they do I will hold my hands up and say Phil your a genius.

Alan, the comment starts with "If". This word introduces the concept of uncertainty - an event that may or may not happen.

As for the likelihood of a poor season, from the contributions made its clear yours truly is far from the only person to have concerns about the quality of the current squad. So I'll let my fellow contributors express it in their own terms. Perhaps you would like to pick an argument with each of them, for daring to express such "doom and gloom" on here, too.

We've lost alot of our quality players and signed largely unproven players.
this squad lacks quality (drastically)
This is the first season where we look un organised in the playing side
What does concern me is the fact we dont seem to have replaced them with anyone at all (better or worse).

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Very constructive use of the forum again PhilH. Do you have severe social skills which make you provoke argument in order to have some form of reply from other people?

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I to am worried i think it could turn into a relegation fighting season, i did say swinton missed an opportunity last season to build a squad to compete this season, but relied to much on d/r players

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I fully understand the loss of players, and as much as I dont like seeing our best players leave for pastures new, ive gotten used to it over the years. This does not concern me (too much). What does concern me is the fact we dont seem to have replaced them with anyone at all (better or worse). Regardless of the agecroft situation, which we fans are desperately needing updates (or reassurance, or whatever you want to call it), we still need a playing squad for next year!

With regards to alex hurst, as much as I admire his loyalty and his potential, he never really did it for me at swinton, but good luck to him, Broncos might be able to get the best out of him.

Also, what position is Kash Watkins and where did we get him from?

Kash Watkins played at Folly Lane as a junior. Was in Warrington's academy for a while, joined the Lions in 2007 and showed some promise playing at centre but it was only really a short term stop gap for him as he left after a few months and tried to make it with Leeds playing alongside Kallum.

In the end it didn't work out for him at Leeds, so in 2010 he signed for Oldham and was a fringe player at the Roughyeds, played mostly in the second row there as by then he'd put a bit more bulk on.

His next stop was Eccles ARLFC, he was playing there last season.

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Very constructive use of the forum again PhilH. Do you have severe social skills which make you provoke argument in order to have some form of reply from other people?

Why amongst numerous comments from different people showing similar concerns at the strength of the current squad should only 1 be singled out?

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Not one mention of the word struggle apart from your own. They all have an opinion of the squad thus far but without equating that to the new seasons struggle.

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Why amongst numerous comments from different people showing similar concerns at the strength of the current squad should only 1 be singled out?

Dry your eyes Phil,after years and years maybe you could consider that whilst your content is often superb, your tone does not strike the right note with some.

You`re not shy at saying it as it is so expect the same in return.

There are many many threads that deteriorate into a bash the club and each other argument and its something I have consciously avoided for some time now.

As I said previously I started this thread to discuss new signings. Its not about planning permission. Its easy to start a new one just click "new topic" and Ive got the option then not to read it.

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Despite it being quite sad that you've found this mark :lol: it does raise a very valid point that we should all just probably have faith in Steve Mc. hes not let us down yet.

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Despite it being quite sad that you've found this mark :lol: it does raise a very valid point that we should all just probably have faith in Steve Mc. hes not let us down yet.

I know I know....ha ha :D

I think its easy for us to get into a spiral of doubt and worry. I have eternal optimism and faith. Call it blind stupidity but I dont care.

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I thought "blind optimism (leading to stupidity)" was one of the tick box questions you had to choose to become a Swinton fan.

Maybe it was just me and you Mark.

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