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Rowan

Coach
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  1. I have a lot of sympathy for expansionists trying to take the game to pastures new, having been one myself and tried it since way back when, but there have been so many clubs built on sand down the years that I wonder why there are not a lot tougher credentials demanded by the RFL before allowing a new club to join the semi-professional ranks. Have we learned nothing from the fate of Cardiff Blue Dragons, Kent Invicta, Scarborough Pirates, Mansfield Marksman and far too many others to mention? Perhaps a lot of heartache and soul-searching could be prevented by asking a simple question of the people in the planned location: Does anybody actually WANT a semi-professional Rugby League club here?
  2. So the big news from West Wales RaIders is that the owner has opened a new bar in Llanelli. Meanwhile, courtesy of today's League Express: "Each year we set out to improve both on and off the pitch and this year is no different. We have now done our talking and will go away and work on everything needed to become the club we set out to be." That's all right, then.
  3. Just watched an enjoyable and competitive Avignon-Lezignan (6-20) match in a big city's international-sized stadium. There didn't seem to beany spectators at all in the ground unless they were behind the cameras. Pity, I enjoy French RL and I've always had a soft spot for Villeneuve Leopards).Would being part of the English structure improve crowds or just drain a Carcassonne of all their funds?
  4. If the RFL or IMG or whoever is in charge of the sport these days want it to succeed or even survive in West/South Wales they have to put somebody in authority down there. If there is, as appears, no interest in semi-pro RL then pull the plug and leave the game to the amateurs who appear to be managing OK. It seems obvious to any outsider that things are no better - probably a lot worse - than they were when they launched their umpteenth incarnation via South Wales Scorpions/Ironmen. There's no shame in trying - but there is in doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Like every expansionist I want the Raiders to grow and flourish but I'm not sure it will happen under the present set-up.
  5. I posed similar question yesterday on the West Wales site but so far no signs of an answer. Is there anybody down there who knows anything? This question is asked out of genuine interest - not mischief-making.
  6. As if things aren't tough enough already, who will be taking charge if the coach is banned - four months from all Rugby League activity and 12 months from the touchline?
  7. Back in 2000, Rotherham Giants were the only team to beat my club Manchester Knights in the regular RL Conference season, 26-20 in Yorkshire but in the final match of the season the Knights pipped the Giants 25-12 to clinch top spot in the 24-team Composite Conference table as well as the Northern Section title. The match, played at Oldham RUFC ground (that's another story) made full match reports in the League Weekly (Knights Pack More Punch - report by Ray French) and in League Express (Knights Crowned by Ian Kendall). Unfortunately, we could not take the form into the play-offs and were knocked out by Coventry Bears a week later. The Knights (former Tameside Borough) were elected to the Conference at the same time as Derby City, Crewe, Hemel, Nottingham, Wolverhampton. RL Conference Chairman Lionel Hurst said: "At last and probably for the first time Rugby League has a club carrying the name of Manchester in a national competition. What a boost for the game!" Our first game in the conference - a big win over Wolverhampton Wizards was shown on the Boots 'n All programme of the time. Sadly, the Knights, after a nomadic existence, lasted just five years before going the same way as so many other clubs of the time.
  8. Nothing against York as an attraction but I thought the idea of a Summer Bash was to give Championship fans something different. What does holding it at York offer other than the chance to follow your team to the city twice in a season instead of once?
  9. Stockport did have an amateur club in the 1980s. (started by Grahame Tonge who was instrumental in launching Tameside Borough. I'm not sure how long they lasted - a couple of years I think - but nothing since as far as I know.
  10. NEVER is a long time. So to suggest that Barrow has NEVEER been a big club is stretching a point. Without giving my age away (it's a lot) I have been on Craven Park with crowds of between 15,000 - 20,000 back in the late 40s/early 50s. Barrow went to Wembley three times in the fifties, had an international three quarter line of Jimmy Lewthwaite, Phil Jackson, Dennis Goodwin and Frank Castle, led by a Great Britain Ashes winning stand-off and captain by the name of Willie Horne. A legend in the game. (Ask Alec Murphy!) a Lance Todd Trophy winner in Jack Grundy and a fair sprinkling of star names since those days. Of course they will never come back and we don't expect them to. Right now I couldn't care less if Barrow are never a Super League club (which is Super in name only anyway) but the club is on the up under chairman Steve Neale and his board and local coach Paul Crarey (Championship coach of the year 2022) who has worked wonders in the local game. How many clubs can claim to have 11 players on their staff who have graduated through the local amateur scene. Barrow are doing fine and we are all enjoying it. And we know that nothing lasts forever.
  11. It strikes me that the RFL are hoping fans only turn up for their own team's game (The ground only holds 8,000) and not what they want or plan from the Magic Weekend at Newcastle) and while York is a great city it is hardly the place for fans of 14 clubs to have a weekend out. I'm not sure the Big Bash is any more than a sop for non-Super League clubs. What is the point of it?
  12. Can't really see much of a problem with Leopards - even got a pennant of Villeneuve Leopards in the French elite having f9ollowed their fortunes for years - but that pre-nursery school shirt and the wide-eyed tabby cat badge - surely even Mr. Beaumont can see why everybody's taking the mickey (oops, hope that doesn't give him an ides to change it to Mouse).
  13. Here was I thinking it would be a good idea to get various other opinions on what I thought was a decent enough game between two Championship-level sides only to find out that I am bombarded by the regular miseries banging on about TV cameras, standard of commentary, "plastic" Scots. Still that's Rugby League for you. I am almost certain that the "welcome" ceremony yesterday was designed to break down just in case some folk could find nothing in a 60-6 win to moan about. The Sunday Mirror even sent their RU man along to do a hatchet job on the event. Can't wait to see what the same folk think about the next game. Crowd, commentators, length of the grass, colours of the shirts. Bring it on.
  14. Apologies but I haven't read through all this for the simple reason that we RL fans all know that whatever is voted for today will be changed in the next three or four years because it hasn't worked. It's the cynic in me, built over long years of supporting the game.
  15. It's amazing that there wasn't a queue of players demanding a transfer when they were told they had to wear that yukkish green thing on an away trip. Couldn't somebody have left the kit bag on the team coach? Sorry to go on about it but I still get bad dreams.
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