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Saint 1

Coventry Dragons

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The RFL posted an article about the London leagues and the clubs in them today and Coventry Dragons weren't mentioned. I thought they were entering London Prem? Anyone have any idea what has happened? Seems strange, especially after them announcing their partnership with Cov Bears last month! 

Link for anyone interested - http://www.rugby-league.com/leagues__competitions/london_and_south_east/article/52250/london-mens-league-ready-for-kick-off

Edited by Saint 1

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I was wondering about this

an old facebook entry on chargers website had them due to host Dragons this Saturday but nothing shows on the normally good Chargers website at the moment

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I don’t think they could really be accommodated in the Midlands league so this is a shock 

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This is very confusing. There was the link up with the Bears and they were very optimistic about the season ahead. The chairman even went on the league one show, as well as the Bear Necessities podcast. 

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Yeah I've since heard they aren't running at all for 2018 (at least) and the entire committee has stepped down. This is due to a lack of players, which is surprising. I know a few of their lads went to Cov Bears but I wouldn't have thought there would be enough of those to make an impact, so who knows what has caused it. 

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If its lack of players it looks like they didn't do enough on the recruitment side.

It's very disappointing and a real opportunity missed. There was a real chance to build something big and with a helping hand from the Bears they'd have had a great chance of moving to the next level. 

I guess this demonstrates again that running a club is not easy. It takes alot to make it work and clubs who keep going for many years should be applauded. 

This is also another blow to Midlands RL which is a shadow of what it once was. 

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19 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

If its lack of players it looks like they didn't do enough on the recruitment side.

It's very disappointing and a real opportunity missed. There was a real chance to build something big and with a helping hand from the Bears they'd have had a great chance of moving to the next level. 

I guess this demonstrates again that running a club is not easy. It takes alot to make it work and clubs who keep going for many years should be applauded. 

This is also another blow to Midlands RL which is a shadow of what it once was. 

Yeah Leicester are another big name that no longer exist.

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37 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

If its lack of players it looks like they didn't do enough on the recruitment side.

It's very disappointing and a real opportunity missed. There was a real chance to build something big and with a helping hand from the Bears they'd have had a great chance of moving to the next level. 

I guess this demonstrates again that running a club is not easy. It takes alot to make it work and clubs who keep going for many years should be applauded. 

This is also another blow to Midlands RL which is a shadow of what it once was. 

Do the Dragons have junior teams?

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32 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

If its lack of players it looks like they didn't do enough on the recruitment side.

It's very disappointing and a real opportunity missed. There was a real chance to build something big and with a helping hand from the Bears they'd have had a great chance of moving to the next level. 

I guess this demonstrates again that running a club is not easy. It takes alot to make it work and clubs who keep going for many years should be applauded. 

This is also another blow to Midlands RL which is a shadow of what it once was. 

Admittedly, I think if you take a few of the main players out of any time, a club will struggle, as these players tend to be the driving force behind training sessions and matches. Did Cov Bears give them any support with recruitment? 

It also doesn't help that Midlands community junior RL continues to be decimated by the Midlands Regional Academy which takes players away from the community game, to never return. This lack of young players coming through leads to death by a thousand cuts. 

3 minutes ago, DoubleD said:

Do the Dragons have junior teams?

No. However, I would presume they used to get players who came through the Coventry Bears junior teams (I remember them turning out teams at u14s at least to junior festivals in 2013 or so) but these haven't been there for the last couple of years either. 

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9 minutes ago, Saint 1 said:

Admittedly, I think if you take a few of the main players out of any time, a club will struggle, as these players tend to be the driving force behind training sessions and matches. Did Cov Bears give them any support with recruitment?

I don't know exactly what was agreed. The chairman and Head coach were on the Bear Necessities podcast. My understanding from that interview was that the Bears would give fringe players game time at the Dragons. Additionally if the Dragons unearthed players good enough (and who had the ambition) they could go to the Bears. I think one Dragons player signed with the Bears this year. 

These arrangements had kind of been in place already but it was a more formalised pathway. Ultimately recruitment to the Dragons depends on them but I'm pretty sure the Bears would have helped them identify players. Also some fringe Bears players had played for the Dragons in pre-season. 

As I said its a real shame. I thought it was a really exciting development for RL in Coventry and in the Midlands. It means for the first time in 20 years there is no amateur RL being played in Coventry. The Midlands now only has a few isolated outposts in the amateur game and things really don't look great. 

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The Midlands junior league collapsed when the academy started and Sport England money was withdrawn.

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Clubs without junior setups tend to be the ones that struggle most or are most susceptible to this kind of thing happening 

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1 hour ago, bowes said:

The Midlands junior league collapsed when the academy started and Sport England money was withdrawn.

The Academy has been terrible for junior rugby league in the Midlands. It takes players out of the community game (despite most of them not being good enough to be on a professional pathway) and they never come back. In a few years time the impact on senior rugby league here is going to be terrible. 

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1 hour ago, Saint 1 said:

The Academy has been terrible for junior rugby league in the Midlands. It takes players out of the community game (despite most of them not being good enough to be on a professional pathway) and they never come back. In a few years time the impact on senior rugby league here is going to be terrible. 

Yeah, I used to be on the league committee before the academy and we had a 9 team league at under 16s and at under 14s with most of the games going ahead. We tried an under 18s league but it didn’t work. Then one year only four teams finished the season

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3 hours ago, bowes said:

Yeah, I used to be on the league committee before the academy and we had a 9 team league at under 16s and at under 14s with most of the games going ahead. We tried an under 18s league but it didn’t work. Then one year only four teams finished the season

I've coached Outlaws u14s/u16s since 2013. First 2 years we had really good numbers. My third year we had pretty ordinary numbers. I then started coaching Midlands u16s only to find out where all the players had gone! We probably see about 10-20% come back to Outlaws after Midlands Academy. This will be replicated elsewhere in the Midlands. Telford is the obvious example of a team with loads going to Midlands Academy but who struggled to put out a senior team, presumably because lots of these players never return.

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9 hours ago, Saint 1 said:

I've coached Outlaws u14s/u16s since 2013. First 2 years we had really good numbers. My third year we had pretty ordinary numbers. I then started coaching Midlands u16s only to find out where all the players had gone! We probably see about 10-20% come back to Outlaws after Midlands Academy. This will be replicated elsewhere in the Midlands. Telford is the obvious example of a team with loads going to Midlands Academy but who struggled to put out a senior team, presumably because lots of these players never return.

The returnees from Acadamies is the same story up north, however we have a bigger base to begin with. But even some strong names in the game struggle at U18s - which then has a knock effect to Open Age 

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6 minutes ago, Spidey said:

Midlands

 

9 hours ago, Saint 1 said:

I've coached Outlaws u14s/u16s since 2013. First 2 years we had really good numbers. My third year we had pretty ordinary numbers. I then started coaching Midlands u16s only to find out where all the players had gone! We probably see about 10-20% come back to Outlaws after Midlands Academy. This will be replicated elsewhere in the Midlands. Telford is the obvious example of a team with loads going to Midlands Academy but who struggled to put out a senior team, presumably because lots of these players never return.

North Derbyshire Chargers were another. They produced loads of good juniors but Sheffield academy snapped them up and their open age folded

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1 hour ago, Spidey said:

The returnees from Acadamies is the same story up north, however we have a bigger base to begin with. But even some strong names in the game struggle at U18s - which then has a knock effect to Open Age 

Yeah I think the other thing about u18s is lads can at least go to open age if they are that way inclined. If you suddenly take half a team of u15s away, there is nowhere else for the remaining players to go unfortunately. It's something the game really needs to have a look at whether this is the best way of doing things, especially somewhere like the Midlands where there is such a small base to start with. 

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Personally I think the under 16 scholarships should be scrapped entirely. There’s a need for under 18s or under 19s at an elite level, plus something linked to the colleges like we have now.

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On ‎26‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 2:53 PM, bowes said:

The Midlands junior league collapsed when the academy started and Sport England money was withdrawn.

Seems like the same formula that destroyed a lot of junior teams when the RFL via the service areas directed the better players towards the chosen clubs.

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10 hours ago, Saint 1 said:

Yeah I think the other thing about u18s is lads can at least go to open age if they are that way inclined. If you suddenly take half a team of u15s away, there is nowhere else for the remaining players to go unfortunately. It's something the game really needs to have a look at whether this is the best way of doing things, especially somewhere like the Midlands where there is such a small base to start with. 

I don't think we've got many U18 teams now and the lads are having to go to open age these days to make sure first team fixtures are fulfilled.

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12 hours ago, bowes said:

 

North Derbyshire Chargers were another. They produced loads of good juniors but Sheffield academy snapped them up and their open age folded

I believe they got redirected at the service area towards Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks and then onto Sheffield's academy who actually played in the midlands league, Dave and Tim did a brilliant job at the Chargers.

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21 hours ago, Saint 1 said:

I've coached Outlaws u14s/u16s since 2013. First 2 years we had really good numbers. My third year we had pretty ordinary numbers. I then started coaching Midlands u16s only to find out where all the players had gone! We probably see about 10-20% come back to Outlaws after Midlands Academy. This will be replicated elsewhere in the Midlands. Telford is the obvious example of a team with loads going to Midlands Academy but who struggled to put out a senior team, presumably because lots of these players never return.

Elite age group rugby should start at either U18 or U19, under this they should be allowed to play with their mates but monitored with a weekly training session at their district service area (could even bring in limited inter-town style Wednesday night game for them)

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