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The Parksider

Feeder clubs? - Eaton speaks

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It depends on what you mean by "junior development"?

For me you can fill several teams below the first team with players and throw as much money as you want at it, but if there are not that many talented players being created in Junior Rugby League to feed this system then the returns on the money invested are poor.

It's my opinion but I'd like to hear more opinions on this that we need thousands more kids playing RL rather than throwing thousands more at the same small number.

I think it's terrible what Leeds are doing...

Or is it "have had to do".

Perhaps so many kids play RL in Australia that many of their "surplus players"are better than our developing players??

Can money open up more junior RL clubs? I think it needs the volunteers first and foremost.

Well said. The scholarship system is a mess too - all these power games at pro level are harming grassroots rugby.

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It depends on what you mean by "junior development"?

For me you can fill several teams below the first team with players and throw as much money as you want at it, but if there are not that many talented players being created in Junior Rugby League to feed this system then the returns on the money invested are poor.

It's my opinion but I'd like to hear more opinions on this that we need thousands more kids playing RL rather than throwing thousands more at the same small number.

I think it's terrible what Leeds are doing...

Or is it "have had to do".

Perhaps so many kids play RL in Australia that many of their "surplus players"are better than our developing players??

Can money open up more junior RL clubs? I think it needs the volunteers first and foremost.

Good points well made Parksider.

My take on the junior set up at clubs is that if they are going to do it then do it properly without cutting corners. I would rather see no overseas players in our leagues and let the money be channelled into the Scholarships/Acadamies and amateur local junior clubs. Obviously standards would initially decline but in the longer term maybe we could start to challenge the Aussies again.

Its the old saying, to be strong at the top you need to be stronger at the bottom.

Clubs can start picking up lads for their Scholarship teams from the age of 14. Are they saying that after 5 or 6 years of going through their own tailor made system that too few of them are good enough to make it to first team football to make it viable? Surely that is more of a sad indictment on the clubs than the young lads.

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1. I would rather see no overseas players in our leagues and let the money be channelled into the Scholarships/Acadamies and amateur local junior clubs. Obviously standards would initially decline but in the longer term maybe we could start to challenge the Aussies again.

2. Clubs can start picking up lads for their Scholarship teams from the age of 14. Are they saying that after 5 or 6 years of going through their own tailor made system that too few of them are good enough to make it to first team football to make it viable? Surely that is more of a sad indictment on the clubs than the young lads.

1. The overseas players are paid for by Superleague club income. There's a strong argument that the overseas players make the standard of Superleague stronger and give the game an element of a glamour or international image. I think players say at Leeds like Webb, Lautiti, Donald,Leuluai are great value for money and add to the appeal and image of the game.

Those resentful often speak of "second rate Aussies" keeping out our stars of tommorrow. I wholeheartedly disagree. We simply do not have talent better than these players. If we send them back the wages we save will have to pay for the British replacements. I don't think SL can afford to cut salaries and throw the money at Junior development. It needs organisation more than money throwing at it.

2. I don't with respect recognise the idea that if you have a 14 year old and he goes through a six year development process then it's a failure of the system if he does not turn out to be a good professional.

In my area of Leeds, a staunch Rhinos supporting area we have two big junior soccer clubs playing out of 10 age ranges with two teams an age range. That's 40 teams with squads averaging 15 players that's 600 kids playing soccer, we have one Union side with a junior section, probably 150 players.

No kid in my area plays RL in a local junior side

This is probably why Leeds have to import players and why they can't find a local center good enough.

Don't get me wrong the game is played in one of the schools and Jodie Broughton took it up and had to go to Queens to advance his interest in the game. he's now an England player, but that was luck rather than organisation.

But I am firmly in support of organising things in and around Leeds so there's one big club that attracts the kids interest because they are on telly and they have "stars" and big crowds watch them. Then they interact with all the schools and development officers, give local RL enthusiasts support to start kids teams out of school, have the SL club interact with that set up and let the elite flow through the final development bit and the best end up full pros.

I think this partly happens. Most British SL players come from areas where there's an SL club, probably because that generates the interest, the ambition and the organisation to harness it. But clearly the number of kids who take up RL in this country is miniscule, and that's why we struggle for talent........

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Aye. ;)

TBH I think we'll have to wait and see how this new system works out. I would say at this point the chances of it working out well are NOT good, for the following reasons.

1. It's not been thought through properly because it's only been introduced to save SL clubs cash. No-one is sure the effects on salary cap, playoff eligabilty issues, etc.

2. It will cause disruption to Championship teams who won't know who is in their squad on a month to month (or even week to week) basis. A side with five nearSL standard players will be a different proposition to that same side without the five. The credibility of the Championship is undermined.

3. It won't help the development of players at SL clubs from 16 to 21. Play scholarship at 16, then huge 3 year jump to academy mixing with 19 year olds, then farmed out to open age Championship club. How is that a clear pathway of development?

3, Thats why the RFL have taken control of the NCL

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I have no idea how my post enede up in the middle of the one I was replying to. My apologies.

Stuck your cursor in the wrong place, pal. Why not go back and edit your post ?

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You are not in a position to be "called back" anywhere, you are in the Leeds player development system all along......

Couldn't have put it better myself. :dry:

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It can't work on the past record of the DR shambles to date.

The players who are signed need to be signed for the full season.

Eaton said "From the discussions we have had with Leeds we are not looking to borrow players, it's not a case of fringe players not getting a game coming to us, it's doing a LOT MORE than that".

So although he does not fully explain the deal he does intimate it's something a lot more solid.

It could be argued that if the two clubs are linked to create one player pathway then if you are one of the players Leeds don't want to release at 19 because potential is there, then you play on in the Leeds "A" team, who are Hunslet.

You are not in a position to be "called back" anywhere, you are in the Leeds player development system all along......

But will it work that way and will Hunslet etc stop looking at their own development to cut their own costs?

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But will it work that way and will Hunslet etc stop looking at their own development to cut their own costs?

:blink:

What do you mean ? Do they still have a development programme ?

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But will it work that way and will Hunslet etc stop looking at their own development to cut their own costs?

We had no real junior development system AFAIK, year on year it was a matter of scraping a few quid together and buying a semi pro squad. You would not believe how skint the club was. Hunslet Warriors were far more vibrant that us.

These changes give us a development system of real note, we have had to sell our soul for it though!!

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1. The overseas players are paid for by Superleague club income. There's a strong argument that the overseas players make the standard of Superleague stronger and give the game an element of a glamour or international image. I think players say at Leeds like Webb, Lautiti, Donald,Leuluai are great value for money and add to the appeal and image of the game.

Those resentful often speak of "second rate Aussies" keeping out our stars of tommorrow. I wholeheartedly disagree. We simply do not have talent better than these players. If we send them back the wages we save will have to pay for the British replacements. I don't think SL can afford to cut salaries and throw the money at Junior development. It needs organisation more than money throwing at it.

2. I don't with respect recognise the idea that if you have a 14 year old and he goes through a six year development process then it's a failure of the system if he does not turn out to be a good professional.

In my area of Leeds, a staunch Rhinos supporting area we have two big junior soccer clubs playing out of 10 age ranges with two teams an age range. That's 40 teams with squads averaging 15 players that's 600 kids playing soccer, we have one Union side with a junior section, probably 150 players.

No kid in my area plays RL in a local junior side

This is probably why Leeds have to import players and why they can't find a local center good enough.

Don't get me wrong the game is played in one of the schools and Jodie Broughton took it up and had to go to Queens to advance his interest in the game. he's now an England player, but that was luck rather than organisation.

But I am firmly in support of organising things in and around Leeds so there's one big club that attracts the kids interest because they are on telly and they have "stars" and big crowds watch them. Then they interact with all the schools and development officers, give local RL enthusiasts support to start kids teams out of school, have the SL club interact with that set up and let the elite flow through the final development bit and the best end up full pros.

I think this partly happens. Most British SL players come from areas where there's an SL club, probably because that generates the interest, the ambition and the organisation to harness it. But clearly the number of kids who take up RL in this country is miniscule, and that's why we struggle for talent........

I fully agree with you that the top overseas stars you mention are an assets and star attractions to the game in this country and their presence here is well worth their costs. However, some of the lesser lights from overseas, are being brought in and they may or may not turn out to be great successes and there might be equally as talented Britsih players, who would cost less because there are no housing or travel costs involved. Also they are likely to remain in the British game for a much longer time than the imports.

The other group of overseas players that would seem to be a non productive use of money are the older players who come over here for a last hurragh. Great for them but not such a great return on the large investment accrued by the british clubs.

I do not advocate eliminating the top stars from out game but these other two categories of overseas players could be eliminated and the funds saved invested in the British game and players for a better return on the capital expended.

This latest recruit by Leeds is a case in point. He has only played 4 or 5 NRL games. He may or may not turn out to be a great player but you take the same chance with an English prospect and the expenses are much less. I would hazard a guess that had this recruit not been born over here he would never had received immigration permsission for a work permit such is the paucity of his professional experience.

By not recruiting lesser or unproven and aged players the money saved could be funnelled into all the initiatives you describe in point 2 of your post.

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3, Thats why the RFL have taken control of the NCL

So that NCL clubs will continue to develop future professionals past 16 years old on behalf of SL clubs? That's not what I see is going to happen. SL academies will pick 16 and 17 y.o.talent for their U19 sides and if they're not good enough by 19 they'll be

1. Farmed out to a Championship side

2. Tossed away.

Where the NCL clubs may come into things for those lads at that age could be if the Reserves U23 league for Championship clubs is scrapped (which we thought it would have been by now: its down to six clubs) and then Championship clubs would link up with NCL clubs, ie Fev Rovers with Fev Lions to nurture promising players aged 16 to 21.

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I fully agree with you that the top overseas stars you mention are an assets and star attractions to the game in this country and their presence here is well worth their costs. However, some of the lesser lights from overseas, are being brought in and they may or may not turn out to be great successes and there might be equally as talented Britsih players, who would cost less because there are no housing or travel costs involved. Also they are likely to remain in the British game for a much longer time than the imports.

The other group of overseas players that would seem to be a non productive use of money are the older players who come over here for a last hurragh. Great for them but not such a great return on the large investment accrued by the british clubs.

I do not advocate eliminating the top stars from out game but these other two categories of overseas players could be eliminated and the funds saved invested in the British game and players for a better return on the capital expended.

This latest recruit by Leeds is a case in point. He has only played 4 or 5 NRL games. He may or may not turn out to be a great player but you take the same chance with an English prospect and the expenses are much less. I would hazard a guess that had this recruit not been born over here he would never had received immigration permsission for a work permit such is the paucity of his professional experience.

By not recruiting lesser or unproven and aged players the money saved could be funnelled into all the initiatives you describe in point 2 of your post.

That's a lot of may and might, or in other words you don't know the clubs reasoning, you don't know where they have looked and you don't know the costings.

What may seem as illogical to the terrace warrior may be perfectly logical to the club insider.

One thing I am confident in saying is that clubs don't look at British players and say "he's good, he's cheap, sod it I'll go and find a worse more expensive overseas player."

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That's a lot of may and might, or in other words you don't know the clubs reasoning, you don't know where they have looked and you don't know the costings.

What may seem as illogical to the terrace warrior may be perfectly logical to the club insider.

One thing I am confident in saying is that clubs don't look at British players and say "he's good, he's cheap, sod it I'll go and find a worse more expensive overseas player."

Of course there are a lot of 'mays' and 'mights'. Thats the whole thing about player recruitment, you never know how it will turn out. My point is that, given the costs of bringing the minor level players from Australia, it might ( there's that word again ) so maybe I will say probably should be a better and cheaper deal to persvere with promising British players.

On your last point, I agree that should be their mindset but I am not so sure. I think they have been so brainwashed about the quality of antipodean players that it's almost a knee jerk reaction for the clubs to assume that they get better quality from downunder and automatically go for those players. Some recruits from Australasia have been real failures.

I think cost and the production line of young talented British players being produced is slowly altering that perception. Leeds, for instance, have a mostly British lineup, many produced by the clubs junior set up. Wigan and St Helens are also playing local youngsters in numbers. The latter two having British coaches might also be a factor in the move to more British based player production.

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This latest recruit by Leeds is a case in point. He has only played 4 or 5 NRL games. He may or may not turn out to be a great player but you take the same chance with an English prospect and the expenses are much less.

How do Leeds take the same chance with an English prospect.

Find me a young English centre prospect that could get five starts in the NRL.

Fact is the NRL have far far more kids taking up the game and they develop far more stars and some of the players who are only fringe in the NRL where's there's so much more competition are of course better than what we have.

You seem to want to ingore the point that Australia/antipodes is blesssed with far far more players than England.

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How do Leeds take the same chance with an English prospect.

Find me a young English centre prospect that could get five starts in the NRL.

Fact is the NRL have far far more kids taking up the game and they develop far more stars and some of the players who are only fringe in the NRL where's there's so much more competition are of course better than what we have.

You seem to want to ingore the point that Australia/antipodes is blesssed with far far more players than England.

Which will only get worse with the Academy shake up

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How do Leeds take the same chance with an English prospect.

Find me a young English centre prospect that could get five starts in the NRL.

Fact is the NRL have far far more kids taking up the game and they develop far more stars and some of the players who are only fringe in the NRL where's there's so much more competition are of course better than what we have.

You seem to want to ingore the point that Australia/antipodes is blesssed with far far more players than England.

We might as well scrap all Scholarship and Acadamey sides then and just go shopping in the Toyota Cup and SG Ball leagues in Australia.

Now is the time to try and increase the number of young players in the game rather than scrapping two age groups associated with our professional clubs. A long term strategic plan is needed from the RFL that is adhered to for a change without being rail-roaded by clubs only interested in their own agenda

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Of course there are a lot of 'mays' and 'mights'. Thats the whole thing about player recruitment, you never know how it will turn out. My point is that, given the costs of bringing the minor level players from Australia, it might ( there's that word again ) so maybe I will say probably should be a better and cheaper deal to persvere with promising British players.

On your last point, I agree that should be their mindset but I am not so sure. I think they have been so brainwashed about the quality of antipodean players that it's almost a knee jerk reaction for the clubs to assume that they get better quality from downunder and automatically go for those players. Some recruits from Australasia have been real failures.

I think cost and the production line of young talented British players being produced is slowly altering that perception. Leeds, for instance, have a mostly British lineup, many produced by the clubs junior set up. Wigan and St Helens are also playing local youngsters in numbers. The latter two having British coaches might also be a factor in the move to more British based player production.

Australia has better senior teams than Europe because they produce better juniors, they produce better juniors because they have far more to chose from.

We have far fewer to chose from, why? We have have a small catchment area, the best are already being mopped up in RL areas, we don't have any more best left in Castleford,, Widnes, Wigan and Hull or wherever.

Expanding into London, a very long slow process, is showing great results, the difference it makes is that we have more kids to chose from, kids who would never have entered rugby league in the past. Therefore we find more 'best' players.

Being the best of a rubbish bunch doesn't make you a great pro RL player it makes you a likely kr@p pro RL player though.

If every kid in Lancashire and Yorkshire wanted to play RL and no other sport we would probably rule the world, they don't and therefore we don't.

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Which will only get worse with the Academy shake up

I'm not getting this Lee and am open to an explanation.......

I'm not too bothered what happens in terms of player development from 15 years old onwards.

I am sure the cream will rise to the top.

For me I want to see as many kids as possible lining up to enter the "system".

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We might as well scrap all Scholarship and Acadamey sides then and just go shopping in the Toyota Cup and SG Ball leagues in Australia. Now is the time to try and increase the number of young players in the game rather than scrapping two age groups associated with our professional clubs.........

Same again Mr. End.....

The number of young players "in the game" depends on schools, development officers and the people who run junior clubs exposing kids to the game and accommodating getting them on board as kids to play.

The "system" for taking kids who are keen and active participants in Rugby League through to a pro career is of little concern to me as the cream will rise to the top.

Why is there this idea that the professional development system is far more important than the numbers playing.

The more kids who take up the game the better we will be surely.

Here's two scenarios....

1. Only 13 kids play RL in England and we have a brilliant pro player development system.

2. Every kid in the land takes up Rugby League yet the pro player development system is atrocious.

To me it's clear that development is about quantity more than the quality of the system?

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Expanding into London, a very long slow process, is showing great results......

WHAT???

London 5418 1998

London 2802 2012

That's a terrible result, Kick 'em out.......

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To me it's clear that development is about quantity more than the quality of the system?

Obviously the two are interlinked to a certain extent but for me the major factor is the quality of coaching a player receives.

A players skill set, game awareness and to a lesser extent, physical attributes have to be coached to maximise full potential. The days when natural talent alone could take you to the top of our sport ended when the 1982 Aussie tourists flew home. Increasing the player pool gives you a greater chance of finding more potential "star" players but they will still need to be taken that next step through good education.

I don't follow the Academy scene as closely as others on here, but the impression I get is that certain coaches felt the U20's was a poor league with cricket scores being run up on a regular basis. I read last season a number of coaches making comments that "x player would be better on dual registration with a Championship club as the standard is higher than the U20's". Rather than abolish 2 age groups, should the RFL not be looking at ways to intensify junior development and help clubs raise standards?

Can we say that a young British player who signs for a SL club at 14 and goes through the age groups until he was 20 would become the same player if he did exactly the same time at an NRL club? Are we giving our stars of tomorrow a fair crack. If not how are we ever going to compete internationally?

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Obviously the two are interlinked to a certain extent but for me the major factor is the quality of coaching a player receives.

A players skill set, game awareness and to a lesser extent, physical attributes have to be coached to maximise full potential. The days when natural talent alone could take you to the top of our sport ended when the 1982 Aussie tourists flew home. Increasing the player pool gives you a greater chance of finding more potential "star" players but they will still need to be taken that next step through good education.

I don't follow the Academy scene as closely as others on here, but the impression I get is that certain coaches felt the U20's was a poor league with cricket scores being run up on a regular basis. I read last season a number of coaches making comments that "x player would be better on dual registration with a Championship club as the standard is higher than the U20's". Rather than abolish 2 age groups, should the RFL not be looking at ways to intensify junior development and help clubs raise standards?

Can we say that a young British player who signs for a SL club at 14 and goes through the age groups until he was 20 would become the same player if he did exactly the same time at an NRL club? Are we giving our stars of tomorrow a fair crack. If not how are we ever going to compete internationally?

All fair points and you clearly know more than me on this.

I do hear a lot of people say that most pro players can be coached to a certain high standard of fitness and basic skills.

They say all SL players are coached thus. Wether the coaching is better in Australia I do not know but suspect in a bigger and better game it probably is.

They say what we lack is something more than regimented coaching and training. That being the natural skills of the individual players.

They end up making the difference, there being something you just cannot coach into a player.

We end up with teams of professional players who largely cancel each other out, but if you have a Burrow, a Brough, a McGuire, a Tomkins, a Roby, a Briers, etc these lads make the difference.

I guess Australia have more of these sort of players than us and better ones too as the likes of Sam and Danny don't look so great against their Aussie equivalents.

Such players are one in a thousand?

So when you don't have that many thousand playing..............

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All fair points and you clearly know more than me on this.

I do hear a lot of people say that most pro players can be coached to a certain high standard of fitness and basic skills.

They say all SL players are coached thus. Wether the coaching is better in Australia I do not know but suspect in a bigger and better game it probably is.

Most of these players you talk about have something more than athleticism, it is an instinct for the game, and the ability to think that split second faster than the rest. Some are born with it, but others gain it through interaction with others at a very early age. Even in the heartlands tig and pass is very rarely played in the backstreets, village greens, and junior school playgrounds. Nowadays the topic of conversation at playtimes is, more often than not, soccer. The great creative players of the past owe a debt of gratitude to their childhood mates and siblings who assisted in their development, sometimes from just talking about the game. Outposts like London may produce great athletic players through coaching but are unlikely to match towns like Oldham in this department. The trouble is if the game dies in places like Oldham we will see less of these great creative types.

They say what we lack is something more than regimented coaching and training. That being the natural skills of the individual players.

They end up making the difference, there being something you just cannot coach into a player.

We end up with teams of professional players who largely cancel each other out, but if you have a Burrow, a Brough, a McGuire, a Tomkins, a Roby, a Briers, etc these lads make the difference.

I guess Australia have more of these sort of players than us and better ones too as the likes of Sam and Danny don't look so great against their Aussie equivalents.

Such players are one in a thousand?

So when you don't have that many thousand playing..............

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Australia has better senior teams than Europe because they produce better juniors, they produce better juniors because they have far more to chose from.

We have far fewer to chose from, why? We have have a small catchment area, the best are already being mopped up in RL areas, we don't have any more best left in Castleford,, Widnes, Wigan and Hull or wherever.

Expanding into London, a very long slow process, is showing great results, the difference it makes is that we have more kids to chose from, kids who would never have entered rugby league in the past. Therefore we find more 'best' players.

Being the best of a rubbish bunch doesn't make you a great pro RL player it makes you a likely kr@p pro RL player though.

If every kid in Lancashire and Yorkshire wanted to play RL and no other sport we would probably rule the world, they don't and therefore we don't.

I agree with you. The best of a bad bunch is about the same as the worst of a good bunch. However, I think great strides have been made in an effort to improve the conveyor belt of talent in the UK and I think it is starting to show results. England can pick a couple of decent sides from the players available at present whereas 10 years ago we were struggling to find a decent first choice side. As I said in my earlier post, the top English teams are now putting out sides with10 plus English players. Contrast that to a few years ago when Halifax in the top division at the time were playing 10 or more Antipodeans and there were a few other teams doing the same.

This feeder clubs process will again dilute the numbers being produced and we will once again start to regress vis a vis Australia. As you say, it';s a numbers game and a money game and to spend less money and develop fewer players is regression not progression. Numbers, notwithstanding, I think to gamble on a young unproven Australian, rather than take a chance on a young british player is an unecessary expense. We could be missing the next Atkins, Lawrence, Cudjoe, Watkins, Jones-Bishop just to feed our obsession with Australian produced marginal players. The top level Australian players, Inglis for example is another kettle of fish entirely and we should go for players of that calibre if we can afford them.

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This feeder clubs process will again dilute the numbers being produced......

No it won't. Schools and junior clubs produce RL players.

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