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dead man inc

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  1. completely agree - shortsighted & a massive mistake in terms of player development & retention to ‘save’ a relatively small amount of money by the clubs.
  2. It’s really so very difficult without major funding. I’ve been around the fringes of the junior, amateur, semi pro & pro side in London over the last 6 years and there are just so many different issues that will take massive and serious long term investment if London is to actually sustain and really grow. Juniors seem to be made up of union lads playing in off season with teams managed/coached by keen volunteers and the kids parents. team numbers just about enough week in week out, but sometimes teams have to borrow players to make up the numbers. The really good kids get picked up by the pro union teams, the good kids get picked up by Broncos scholarship/academy and the vast majority of the kids who play for fun return to union as they get into adult age range and can only really play 1 code along with work/college/uni commitments. As the kids move on the turnover of parental volunteers changes so little continuity in the clubs apart from a few very keen and hardworking people. Most junior teams play out of parks/schools/union club grounds (Elmbridge/Hemel being few exceptions i’m aware of.) Contrast this to the vast multitude of union club in each part of London & all with their own grounds & clubhouses & many with brand new RFU 5g artificial pitches & RFU funded coaches, multiple teams through each age group. All have income coming in from the clubhouse/pitch hire/venue hire & get sponsorship from lots of local small businesses. Amateur open age is dominated by the Aussie/Kiwi expats and their games can be really good quality matches. Some very good players who would definitely get into Skolars and help raise the quality & profile if the visa regulations would allow it. West Warriors/Hammersmith Hill Hoists/London Chargers seem to be pretty well established, but are funded in the main by the players subs themselves hiring pitches and using pubs etc for after games so no real income streams coming in to move things forward. Very good family/tribe feel about the clubs means that they seem to have a steady influx of players as visas run out and players return home. Skolars had been starting to regularly compete against the northern teams - they may be near the bottom of the table but the games were starting to be a lot closer. New river is a good stable base and their recent bar addition gives them some much needed income, but unsure how they will afford to stay there if league 1 funding changes with new sky tv deal allocations to lower leagues. They had a development person who worked in primary schools and the primary school festivals were attended well, but not convinced many of the kids would then play league outside of their school mini competition. Skolars don’t seem to have as many mini/junior sides as they used to (just my observation - i may be wrong, but seem to be missing in certain age group competitions). First team Recruitment is difficult and over last few years the better players seem to be getting older & i’m not really seeing the new younger ones coming through - for some reason a lot of the lads that get released by Broncos seem to go to Coventry over Skolars which is strange - i understand some are midlands based, but a noticeable number are London based & prefer to go to Coventry. Change of directors/ceo/chairman this year make me wonder if departing ones know/worry more about rfl funding plans than has been made public. 5 years ago i thought Skolars we’re improving and things looked positive, but now as a genuine Skolars fan i’m actually concerned about their long term future and financial sustainability (This is not necessarily due to just Skolars themselves, but the whole prospects for lower league and the rfl.) David Hughes deserves a knighthood for his services to rugby league in London. The guy must have lost a fortune over the years, but has kept the club running and the scholarship and academy system has produced results. Some young players that dont make the grade go to Skolars/Coventry, but the majority seem to stop completely after being released or go to union nat1/2/local teams which is a crying shame after the money that has been invested developing them. That said he quite clearly is reducing his financial commitments - the size and quality of the squad (& spend) has gone down and continues to. I actually think London punch above their weight over the last few years. London’s back room staff is small and do not have funds to sufficiently promote to make any noticeable difference. They again have someone delivering in primary schools, but it’s 1 person in a handful of primary schools., The recent pitshanger youth team start up is promising. Trailfinders is about the right size for where the club is now, but must cost a fortune to rent (it’s in London lol) and i don’t think Broncos get any bar takings. Talking of a new London owned RL stadium is unrealistic and just not going to happen - basic 3 bedroom houses round here can be a million.pounds! Unless a new owner magically appears (or licensing introduced) who has a bottomless pit to burn I can see Broncos staying as a decent top level championship team - possibly moving to part time. I really am not trying to put a negative spin on things, I’m hoping things get better across all London RL.
  3. Does buying Hemels license give them access to central funding?
  4. Spoke to a couple of reserve players today - all of them found out about this from the press - not a single one had been told about in advance of the article it by their clubs ?
  5. Very sensible comments & a proactive solution - I particularly liked the ‘But their role is to increase participation in the sport and not allow it to diminish.‘ quote.
  6. Championship & league 1 are almost certainly going to have just as big if not worse financial issues themselves. Coupled with my perceived opinion that the trend over the last few years is older ex super league players moving down the ladder rather than younger players moving up it from league 1 to championship to SL. My fear is current reserves may walk away from the game entirely & some might be lost to the other code.
  7. So the 20/21yr olds etc that are just on the fringe of being 1st team ready are supposed to twiddle their thumbs for a year until the reserves maybe makes a comeback a year later? No wonder younger players are walking away from the game ?
  8. Really enjoyed that - fascinating insight ???
  9. Are you a season ticket holder? Do you volunteer or try to help Skolars in any way at all? My questions are not criticisms of you, however it might be that you are under appreciating just how difficult it is for Skolars to keep things going, let alone progress each year without somehow finding a source of significant funding that crowds of around 200 are never going to achieve. The costs of hiring New River stadium (or any stadium in London) must be very high. Any players that are willing to relocate to London will if they start to stand out in league 1 easily catch the eye of Broncos. They incur the cost of mini and junior teams only to see (quite understandably as far as the players are concerned) the best Skolars juniors being attracted by unions higher pay (e.g. Joel Kpoku) or taken under Broncos academy system (e.g Dan Hindmarsh.) Broncos reserves must also have made it even harder to recruit players - a number of Skolars juniors are in it who would certainly be good additions to Skolars 1st team. I’m not an apologist for Skolars, far from it - For the last 4 seasons they hit a plateau, or even dipped. Last season being the 1st that things have shown signs of changing recently - competing and challenging the top half teams (even if the losses by a few close points in some games saw them finish in a low position in the table.) Seeing the pre season friendlies, cup exit & 1st league game loss do not give me confidence that this will be the year that Skolars turn the corner, but reading a piece in ‘League weekly’ does give me an insight that perhaps the club are at least honest and realistic about their current position...
  10. My post was trying to give Fev credit & said it was not just London playing awful! I said Fev are a very good team. I did not say they only won because of the DR/loan guys!
  11. London were very poor today, but Fev are are very good team and will be in the mix at the end - they did not win just because London had a nightmare. The Leeds players McLelland, Sutcliffe, Holroyd & Albert are also very good and would raise the performance of any team in the championship who were lucky enough to have them. (e.g. I’m sure 4 SL players on loan/DR to London would improve their squad.) Most of the London players who left at the end of last year had signed contracts with other teams before London had been relegated. It looks like London’s owner has reduced funding this year (maybe he’s deciding to fund at a lower level for good, maybe he wants to bring more London based players through even if this means a few years in the championship - no idea of his reasons. He has kept the club going for a long time putting his own cash in so deserves credit for that! I’m pretty certain he’s not making any money.
  12. How did you rate Coventry? I saw them at a pre season game & thought they looked noticeably better than previous years.
  13. Hope they can keep this effort up for the full 80. Was concerned after watching the pre season games, but so far the team are competing well ?
  14. Is there any communication/relationship between Skolars & Broncos these days? Broncos reserves didn’t have a game this week... would it be possible for some of them to be DR with Skolars if Skolars ever need numbers? Some of the Broncos reserves have come through Skolars junior ranks, so would probably be glad to pull on the shirt if needed.
  15. ‘For the club’s 25th Anniversary, London Skolars are thrilled to unveil their brand-new 2020 ‘Heritage’ Alternative Kit. The jersey has been designed as part of the club’s 25th anniversary celebrations. The away kit is a throwback – a reference to 2003, when the Skolars entered the professional league and donned this classic sky-blue uniform throughout the 2003 season. The crest features white lettering denoting the Club’s 25 years while the collar features numbers denoting the season the kit was inspired from.’
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