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Community Conference Rumour

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Now I might have got the wrong end of the stick, but I bumped into a chap on Saturday at one of the games, and whilst putting the world to rights he asked if I had heard the latest from last weeks Community Conference.  (I've never actually heard of the community conference.)  He said he has been told by someone that was there (Chinese whispers ?) that in 2019  it is being considered scrapping several leagues, mainly from the midlands and south, and having all the clubs in two  'large pots', one of premier league teams and one of 1st Div/Merit teams.  He said that because of complaints from clubs about the lack of games - some teams in some leagues are only playing six games per season, (three home x three away) - and the idea would be for clubs to arrange their own games with each other, (probably from their own current league teams, and also nearby ones), thereby having the flexibility to have as many or as few games as they wish. I can see quite a few flaws in this suggestion.  I have 'done a google' but found nothing mentioned anywhere.  Has anyone else heard anything along these lines, or was he just winding me up? 

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Sounds a bit like a revamp of conference league south, which struggled because of travelling. Would like to see it going ahead, but I very much doubt it. 

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CLS was a fully structured season, this is clubs arranging fixtures on a ad hoc basis when they do not have a game.

I think it was tried to be revamped but from what I remember there were not enough clubs ready to play a april to sept season 

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Sounds abit daft. 

What if you only say you can play at home for every fixture you arrange. To win the league would every team have to have played each other. 

Why bother if this is the future

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I'm not sure the new Conference has actually worked all that well.  Teams are looking for games on the group, there's no real interest from people to travel for hours and hours to play meaningless games.  So a lot of the posts go unanswered.  We've looked for a couple of games to fill in for cancellations and nobody has put themselves forward.  The only teams that have stepped up have been within the region.

At this point, the bells and whistles need to stop.  There is a need to expand within the regions.

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1 hour ago, bbfaz said:

I'm not sure the new Conference has actually worked all that well.  Teams are looking for games on the group, there's no real interest from people to travel for hours and hours to play meaningless games.  So a lot of the posts go unanswered.  We've looked for a couple of games to fill in for cancellations and nobody has put themselves forward.  The only teams that have stepped up have been within the region.

At this point, the bells and whistles need to stop.  There is a need to expand within the regions.

The last paragraph is something I've thought needs to happen. Long distances and one team per town/city is only really viable in the professional game. 

Some kind of plan to increase the amount of clubs within these towns and cities needs to be implemented to help expand the game in these areas.

For example, instead of just having Cardiff or Bristol or Nottingham these places need 5 + clubs each so that there are more teams closer to each other which would help with completing fixtures.

This would also help to strengthen and expand these regional leagues in a more sustainable way.

Finally, any towns or cities looking to enter the professional pyramid would have community clubs on their doorstep to help them develop players.

This is much easier said than done but that would be my ideal scenario in expansion areas

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All the clubs who have recently entered the professional pyramid have done is raid the amateur clubs on the M62 corridor with the odd DR player chucked in for good measure, what has this really done for rugby league apart from a flag on a map that's only looked at by rugby league orientated people and weaken the amateur game in the traditional heartland..

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9 minutes ago, Marauder said:

All the clubs who have recently entered the professional pyramid have done is raid the amateur clubs on the M62 corridor with the odd DR player chucked in for good measure, what has this really done for rugby league apart from a flag on a map that's only looked at by rugby league orientated people and weaken the amateur game in the traditional heartland..

Really? I didn’t know West Wales and Coventry had done this

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Is anybody bothered about rugby league in Bristol or  Nottingham or Cardiff? I mean the people who live there. 

The game is struggling in the so called heartland's and top amateur sides are struggling to field 16s/18s/ a-teams/ NCL first teams are struggling to get numbers. This is bad, if the game isn't strong in Yorkshire Lancashire and Cumbria then there is no game so to speak outside of Australasia.

Should the rfl concentrate on rebuilding the grassroots in the traditionally strong areas, are we spreading our resources too thinly?? 

 

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On 7/28/2018 at 6:00 PM, Marauder said:

All the clubs who have recently entered the professional pyramid have done is raid the amateur clubs on the M62 corridor with the odd DR player chucked in for good measure, what has this really done for rugby league apart from a flag on a map that's only looked at by rugby league orientated people and weaken the amateur game in the traditional heartland..

So wrong Jim.

 

Cov and West Wales have lots of local lads. In fact Cov's squad has 11 lads playing Student RL in the region many of whom are fully paid up southerners.

As for Hemel, Sheffield isnt on the M62 ;)

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2 hours ago, johnmatrix said:

Is anybody bothered about rugby league in Bristol or  Nottingham or Cardiff? I mean the people who live there. 

The game is struggling in the so called heartland's and top amateur sides are struggling to field 16s/18s/ a-teams/ NCL first teams are struggling to get numbers. This is bad, if the game isn't strong in Yorkshire Lancashire and Cumbria then there is no game so to speak outside of Australasia.

Should the rfl concentrate on rebuilding the grassroots in the traditionally strong areas, are we spreading our resources too thinly?? 

 

While I can't speak for Bristol or Cardiff...

In Nottingham, we run 2 senior men's teams, the first of which is currently sitting 4th in Yorkshire Premier. We have registered something like 80 players over the course of the season across both teams. We run a women's team, having had maybe 30-35 women down in total this year, looking to enter an organised league next year. We run youth and juniors, and are also looking to add in a Master's team next year. We also run touch RL year-round, getting anywhere from 15 - 40 players. Our first game at the new ground (which we fundraised for ourselves) had a crowd of 400-500, despite it being during torrential rain. The two universities here both have teams in the Premier leagues of BUCS for rugby league (one of only three cities in the UK to do this - the other two being Newcastle and Leeds), and last year had a combined 115 members. 

Does that suggest anyone in Nottingham is bothered about RL? Or should we just give up?

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On 7/28/2018 at 6:29 PM, JM2010 said:

The last paragraph is something I've thought needs to happen. Long distances and one team per town/city is only really viable in the professional game. 

Some kind of plan to increase the amount of clubs within these towns and cities needs to be implemented to help expand the game in these areas.

For example, instead of just having Cardiff or Bristol or Nottingham these places need 5 + clubs each so that there are more teams closer to each other which would help with completing fixtures.

This would also help to strengthen and expand these regional leagues in a more sustainable way.

Finally, any towns or cities looking to enter the professional pyramid would have community clubs on their doorstep to help them develop players.

This is much easier said than done but that would be my ideal scenario in expansion areas

There is no plan though, that's the issue.  There's not even a vague idea of a plan.  To have an expansion plan, you need an overall direction for the league and that doesn't exist.  The RFL have their grand plans for regional super leagues but every time they do this, they cause more damage.  I understand the concept of creative destruction but when you're not creating anything, all you have wilful destruction and it needs to stop.

I've talked some smack down the years at these meetings and am probably viewed as a troublemaker but the RFL keep hiring disingenuous people and they just don't want to hear it.  Besides, in wider society, I think people have been programmed to reject any criticism that they don't see as constructive.  My old man, who sadly passed away recently, would say that sometimes you need a rocket and you need to pull your finger out and sort it.  They're supposed to be the experts but they have this "don't come to me with problems, come to me with solutions" attitude which is the opposite of helpful.

So essentially, you'd need the clubs themselves to step up to the plate and fill in where the RFL either cannot or where RFL interference has caused issues.   Every region is different.  I'd suggest neighbouring counties are different.  I grew up on the borders of Surrey, Kent and Greater London and they all have different challenges.  The regions and leagues need independent chairmen and an active base of club administrators who are all sold on the idea that more teams is a better thing.

They need to have volunteer regional expansion officers.   Criteria have to be agreed on what clubs need to be let into the league, such as facilities and lead times for entry.  Some people turn up in March with nothing and think they'll be ready to play in two months.  This might be viable if you are a junior club or perhaps there's a cadre of committed volunteers at a Union club but one man and his dog aren't going to get the job done.  IMO, you need a year to start a club.  There needs to be a knowledge base - both nationally and regionally - on the basics of how to run a club in the 21st century.  I've seen two clubs fall down because they didn't understand that they can make posters on Microsoft Office and you can get a decent club crest on Fiverr.  I didn't have a clue how to do a poster in 2013 but I learned on the internet and found free tools to do so.

My friend said that when I'm full-time back in the UK, I should be telling clubs this but, if you've been involved, you know how that can be like talking to a brick wall.  Besides, I'm a troublemaker.

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11 hours ago, johnmatrix said:

Should the rfl concentrate on rebuilding the grassroots in the traditionally strong areas, are we spreading our resources too thinly?? 

What resources?  

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9 hours ago, Saint 1 said:

While I can't speak for Bristol or Cardiff...

In Nottingham, we run 2 senior men's teams, the first of which is currently sitting 4th in Yorkshire Premier. We have registered something like 80 players over the course of the season across both teams. We run a women's team, having had maybe 30-35 women down in total this year, looking to enter an organised league next year. We run youth and juniors, and are also looking to add in a Master's team next year. We also run touch RL year-round, getting anywhere from 15 - 40 players. Our first game at the new ground (which we fundraised for ourselves) had a crowd of 400-500, despite it being during torrential rain. The two universities here both have teams in the Premier leagues of BUCS for rugby league (one of only three cities in the UK to do this - the other two being Newcastle and Leeds), and last year had a combined 115 members. 

Does that suggest anyone in Nottingham is bothered about RL? Or should we just give up?

I think clubs like yours are part of the success of any expansion and seem stronger than clubs in the more established areas. 

Nottingham is a big place though and it would be great if there were several community based in and around Nottingham

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12 hours ago, johnmatrix said:

Is anybody bothered about rugby league in Bristol or  Nottingham or Cardiff? I mean the people who live there. 

The game is struggling in the so called heartland's and top amateur sides are struggling to field 16s/18s/ a-teams/ NCL first teams are struggling to get numbers. This is bad, if the game isn't strong in Yorkshire Lancashire and Cumbria then there is no game so to speak outside of Australasia.

Should the rfl concentrate on rebuilding the grassroots in the traditionally strong areas, are we spreading our resources too thinly?? 

 

In a ideal world there would be enough money to target the heartlands and help consolidate and strengthen these areas as well as the expansion leagues.

I agree that resources are being spread too thinly. There is a lot of scope for new community clubs around Yorkshire, the NorthWest and Cumbria and maybe even include the NE. It would be much easier for these clubs as they are surrounded by clubs to play and even ask for help and advice from.

 

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4 hours ago, JM2010 said:

I think clubs like yours are part of the success of any expansion and seem stronger than clubs in the more established areas. 

Nottingham is a big place though and it would be great if there were several community based in and around Nottingham

I think part of that is because we have such a big catchment area though - split across several clubs that probably wouldn't be true to the same extent (maybe). On the other hand, it would make having regular competitions easier, and availability is always lower when you have to travel miles for a game. 

 

4 hours ago, JM2010 said:

In a ideal world there would be enough money to target the heartlands and help consolidate and strengthen these areas as well as the expansion leagues.

I agree that resources are being spread too thinly. There is a lot of scope for new community clubs around Yorkshire, the NorthWest and Cumbria and maybe even include the NE. It would be much easier for these clubs as they are surrounded by clubs to play and even ask for help and advice from.

 

I think the argument to focus on the heartlands implies that expansion areas are getting some support though, which could be moved to the heartlands for a better response. Beyond League 1, there is no resources being given to the expansion areas either. We also don't have professional clubs with development foundations and Sky Try funding, except if we arrange it with the professional clubs ourselves. 

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6 minutes ago, Saint 1 said:

I think the argument to focus on the heartlands implies that expansion areas are getting some support though, which could be moved to the heartlands for a better response. 

Yup! What resources could be moved from the eastern region back to the heartlands for example?  

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15 hours ago, MidlandsRugbyLeague said:

So wrong Jim.

 

Cov and West Wales have lots of local lads. In fact Cov's squad has 11 lads playing Student RL in the region many of whom are fully paid up southerners.

As for Hemel, Sheffield isnt on the M62 ;)

 

15 hours ago, MidlandsRugbyLeague said:

So wrong Jim.

 

Cov and West Wales have lots of local lads. In fact Cov's squad has 11 lads playing Student RL in the region many of whom are fully paid up southerners.

As for Hemel, Sheffield isnt on the M62 ;)

You mean the 11 guys mainly from the heartlands with the odd Taff who have been offered places at uni in exchange to play, my gripe is these new areas are not producing enough at the right standard and Hemel seem to be recruiting the Eagles junior side who won the RLC South. you only have to look at the championship 1 table to realise maybe the RFL should have invented a division for their flags on the map teams, I'm sure they and a few others would have been more satisfied because cricket scores every week are no good for man or beast.

I'm not sure if 34 years counts as recent in Rugby League terms Dave because Sheffield have been around that long.

 

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So, was everybody lying to me about Coventry Bears stripping Coventry Dragons and Northampton of their best players?

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40 minutes ago, bbfaz said:

So, was everybody lying to me about Coventry Bears stripping Coventry Dragons and Northampton of their best players?

I heard the same from someone in the Cov Dragons group, don't know how many of them are currently playing though. 

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17 hours ago, Marauder said:

 

You mean the 11 guys mainly from the heartlands with the odd Taff who have been offered places at uni in exchange to play, my gripe is these new areas are not producing enough at the right standard and Hemel seem to be recruiting the Eagles junior side who won the RLC South. you only have to look at the championship 1 table to realise maybe the RFL should have invented a division for their flags on the map teams, I'm sure they and a few others would have been more satisfied because cricket scores every week are no good for man or beast.

I'm not sure if 34 years counts as recent in Rugby League terms Dave because Sheffield have been around that long.

 

Jason Bass born in Leicester

Harry Chapman born in Worksop

Dan Gover born in Coventry

Malikhi Lloyd Jones born in London

Paul Emmanuelli born in Wales

Chris Vitalini born in Wales

James Mason born in Cardiff lives in Gloucester for six years

Chris Barrett born in Salford, recruited in final year at Loughborough Uni, lives in Midlands

All Cov Bears regulars and theyre the ones I know personally without looking at a team sheet for the rest.

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11 hours ago, bbfaz said:

So, was everybody lying to me about Coventry Bears stripping Coventry Dragons and Northampton of their best players?

Theres nobody from either club playing for Cov Bears.

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On ‎7‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 7:34 AM, MidlandsRugbyLeague said:

Jason Bass born in Leicester

Harry Chapman born in Worksop

Dan Gover born in Coventry

Malikhi Lloyd Jones born in London

Paul Emmanuelli born in Wales

Chris Vitalini born in Wales

James Mason born in Cardiff lives in Gloucester for six years

Chris Barrett born in Salford, recruited in final year at Loughborough Uni, lives in Midlands

All Cov Bears regulars and theyre the ones I know personally without looking at a team sheet for the rest.

Convenient, we all know that students from the heartlands got offered places at the local uni and with it the chance to play in he championship 1 competition, I'm also sure that anyone else who could pass and catch to the required standard also got the same offer,  my gripe is why haven't they got more locals playing, Coventry ran two teams and juniors 4 or 5 years ago, where are these guys or has it just turned into flags on a map exercise.

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