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Archie Gordon

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  1. Yeah, all true. I think the current guy is called an area manager and great to work with but it's a team of local DOs that is lacking. The Foundation under Dan Steel covered this ground for a while but, as pointed out upthread, the Foundation has retrenched and is less active - no criticism as I know the guys, there is just less/no money around. Almost everything is now down to volunteers - and fortunately there are some really good ones across the London League clubs but if any leave it can wipe out a whole junior section if noone else steps in. Wouldn't like to end on a negative note and so the good news seems to be that kids are still training across the London clubs and hoping for some friendlies in October. In fact, we have bigger numbers training now than in March (but I'm always greedy for more).
  2. My first post on here in about 12 years, I imagine. This is a topic close to my heart. I'll leave aside the state of the pro clubs in London and also the open age community game and just focus on juniors. I wasn't involved back in the 2006-2012 heyday but have been coaching primary/junior age groups at the Eastern Rhinos for a couple of years now. Others on here have been around longer, I think. Over my short time horizon, the number of clubs/kids involved has seemed fairly stable in the aggregate but growth/decline, sometimes spectacular, has seemed to occur at particular clubs as cohorts ebb and flow and key volunteers arrive and leave. It has been a real shame that Covid has stopped what would have been a great season for the u16s with around 10 London League clubs active this year. Upthread someone mentioned that this age group could be lost to the game - going from playing with 15/16yo peers to open age with a lost season in between will be incredibly tough. Hopefully, they can run an u17s comp for this cohort in 2021. There is a good DO (or similar) for London, btw, just not a team of them. Finally, for now, if anyone on this board is in or around North Essex or Suffolk and wants to get involved in a community club, get in touch with me. If you have kids who want to take up the game, even better.
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