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del capo

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  1. Today I took in Heworth of York. What a delightful , leafy suburb in one of the most affluent cities of the North. And their facilities do not let them down. 3 perfectly mowed and barriered pitches , small stand and decent clubhouse with newly extended changing facilities.. Heworth Cricket club also on site ( well it is Yorkshire ) as well as York Hockey club ( with a golf course across the road ) But the jewel in the crown - pro clubs please take note - is that the facility is owned by the club and bought for about £6k years ago as little more than a farmers field , legendary club stalwart Kenny Sykes the ex Hunslet forward being instrumental amongst others in Heworth's development from thereon in What took me there was the NCL play off game between Heworth and the ever mighty Castleford Lock Lane. Superb struggle in an expansive game that went to a third period ( yes ) of golden point extra time before the Lane snatched it . Large friendly crowd very appreciative - ref had a good game but yet again lacked help from absent touch judges - RL need to get a grip here - these are top matches. There is a clear buzz about RL in York these days. Before that called in at West Bowling who were entertaining Dewsbury Moor also in the NCL play offs. What a complex they are now party to ! Horsfall stadium , home to Bradford Park Ave is now shared by them. A World Cup grant of £200+ k is securing even more changing rooms and the 4g pitch is being played on 24/7. 3 or 4 grass fields at the back will revert to rugby shortly. The main stand can fit 1000+ sitting. And yes - this is Yorkshire - there is a well used cricket wicket on the site. But what impresses is the enthusiasm of everyone involved in the club , from the Chair running the line for the pre match academy game against Hunslet Parkside to the Head coach in his pre match 'zone '. Don't say this too often as a Red Rose man but Yorkshire was a good day out today.........
  2. Coyd and Clayton were able to get their bosses to agree that the Forces should play RL largely by aligning our sports attributes with those cherished by the Forces - physical and mental toughness , structure and game plan teamship. stubbornness never to be beat and yes off the cuff flair at critical times. That works both ways. The Forces have just shy of 200 k fit and able personnel between them. Even the top Community sides are now wary of meeting them, Don't forget that the Dark Side spread their game worldwide on the backs of the UK military playing it in their spare time........ A potential growth area not to be undervalued or overlooked.
  3. Huddersfield take over / feeder club / reserves / ' partnership ' ( with funding ) ? If so wont be the last and could be a way of saving League 1.
  4. The harsh reality is that finances are grim throughout the game. Talk of restructure to 10 x 2 for SL is miles off when the RFL are left with only £2m outside of the current SL to finance the rest of the pro / semi pro clubs. The finance gaps will never be closed ( Ken Davey's spoken aim ) on that basis, with most League 1 left in a dreadful position. Can supporting say Coventry to the expense of others be justified ? Probably not. Is there a case for supporting League 1 more widely? Probably yes if those clubs have sustainable business plans in place. But where will the money come from ? The new working group recently launched has in fact it's priority task as just that ( whatever else you might read ). And whilst all the 'shirt ripping' is going on on here spare a thought for the Community game. In the 2018 season NCL's 12 Premier sides travelled 24539 miles between them ( Kells and West Hull had almost 3k each ). A coach hire is typically £400- £650. This year not a penny in subsidy from the RFL and from January Tier 4 and 5 between them will pay the RFL membership fees of approx £400k yearly to help keep the existing show on the road And as for going amateur for League 1 that is unlikely. Their business model simply cannot match those of the amateur game whose structures are more akin to those of RU. ( clubhouses , bars .multiple teams and large memberships etc ).. I just looked at the Bears latest accounts ( and they are very well run). They made a profit of £3k - take the RFL subsidy off them and where would they be ? Most Northern Tier 4 clubs all have much larger turnovers...... So yes finances are grim - very grim. Not just Up North.!.... And answers are needed urgently.
  5. They should all be spending their twilight years back in the Community game But they won't. They will do a Long, Gleeson et al ( the list is massive ) by keeping their fitness up , their bar elbow active and shaming the opposition with their by then lazy but still marvellous skills, all honed in TGG. You can play RU till you are ready to be buried.......
  6. My memory fades a bit Bowes but I'm not sure their record was much better than the rest. Eddie Hemmings ( Blackpool Tower etc ) their multi millionaire backer eventually pulled the plug - yet another rich guy not cultivated properly by the RFL . Chairman Lindsay Hoyle pleaded their cause more than once before the NCL committee in his true union rep way ( Leyland Motors. steward ? ) Graeme West and Steve Hampson once coached. The inability to embrace expansion over the years -- Carlisle Scarborough Mansfield to name just a few -has to be the biggest failing of the RFL in the 21st century. As for Chorley they are now the Panthers , a truly solid community club with all that is needed - fields , clubhouse, teams at all age groups - where do you think that the likes of Joss Charnley and others learned their trade before being polished up by the likes of St Pats before going pro ?
  7. I think that fairly useful prop Neil Cowie ( Wigan ) signed from Todmorden in the day ....... but great to see them back.
  8. The last time it happened they were allowed to keep their squads on terms. They all still failed as they lost RFL finance input. ( and couldn't compete on the park for a full season ) The 'quid pro quo ' was that the NCL secured a probable 100 k + investment for their organisation and clubs. No sign of any of that happening at present this time around.......
  9. Not sure about that. Certainly at NCL level a player can only be signed to one club. Contracted players are not allowed as that would be dual registration. Otherwise it's open to all. Marauder makes many valid points. The regional leagues have some real talent. I watched Orrell St James on saturday against Heysham Atoms and if that is what is on offer from the Regional Premiers then those clubs are clearly up to NCL standards now. Also took in Orrell RUFC and Leigh RUFC at the same time and whilst the enthusiasm was apparent the gulf in abilities between our players and theirs is massive at these levels- League NW2 in RU (at least around here ) well below our offerings- skills , on field organisation, fitness and physique miles apart. How do you get the better players recognised without them having to move clubs? Town team maybe but then in BARLA's day that caused fixture chaos for the rest. They refused to try to square that circle and was the cause of that competitions demise. On the wider issue of rep football for worthy players the Community Lions concept is as good a concept as any. Under that banner NWM League and the Midlands have for instance had international competition. The problem remains that we always have to travel ( great for the players but often not so good for their fund raising clubs ) and opportunities are few and far between. The top of the Community game suffers from being just too good for anyone in Europe , France apart ( and getting lower level games with them is often a nightmare ). So we need to be in part at least internal. The days of the County games are probably behind us but what about NWML v YML or Midlands v North East or South v South Wales ? Marketable and viewable..... As for the ' full' Lions squad I don't know how it was selected or by whom but Daisy and his coaches are well versed. The match will hit some top NCL clubs as they pursue the play offs ( max 2 players per club under the rules) but great to see them playing in Ireland and on the international scene once more after this horrid pandemic. Good luck to them all....
  10. Did I actually hear the commentator say of a Wigan attack ( rare I know ) that that was ' a pre planned ad hoc move ?'
  11. Give the Admin guys at the RFL all those years ago some credit. Check out Rugbyleague.com/governance/ about the rfl/ the RFL council. and the voting system. Dog cannot simply eat dog. Even a pack of them can't get their own way which is maybe why the SL are moving back into the fold. ' Irrespective of the number of clubs in Super League the Championship and League 1 ( they all have to be UK based ) the votes of the Super League clubs ( on the one hand ) and the votes of the Championship and League 1 clubs ( on the other hand ) carry equal weight. In addition any resolution must be passed by at least 4 Super League members and at least 4 Championship or League 1 members . On top of that the Community game have 7 fairly influential votes to caste. So whilst it definitely is not a democratic one member / one vote system the balances are in place to secure overall consensus. Often though makes Westminster politics look like a piece of cake......
  12. I'd heard that Matty Peet is Wigan's coach for next year with Shaun Wayne as Director of Rugby but who knows ?
  13. Top RL at the moment is a closed shop run largely by fairly old but rich men. It has no attraction for newcomers as it currently stands. Ask Koukash or Argyle. Most of the owners will be dead within 10 years - what then ? Hull K R can't find a new owner because the present system is simply not attractive enough . And yet they are a well managed progressive outfit compared to some of their SL compatriots. Who knows what the marketplace could yield. To test it we need a fundamentally different approach - stand still and we will be the equivalent of ' Waiting for Godot '
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