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  1. I would agree with that Damien. In my opinion there is a perception which is that Pro clubs always take from the Amateur clubs and return nothing. I may be shot down for this but simply the difference in terminology of Amateur Club and Community Club is indicative of attitudes in the sport. Whilst to some it may be a minor detail I do feel that is has a bearing on attitudes towards the game. A player progressing from a Community Club to play at the Pro level is a cause for celebration as the main ethos of Grassroots sport should be to provide an opportunity for people to play
  2. Newcastle are completely unique in geographical location. They are the only professional club North of York so you can not just drag and drop the "Newcastle Model" into another locality and expect the same outcome. Newcastle support the work that the North East clubs and volunteers are doing. In essence there is not a "model" as such, its more an understanding of how the Pro clubs and Community Clubs/Schools can work together to grow the game and a unified approach.
  3. One of the things that is overlooked constantly is the role that the community clubs and specifically the volunteers have played in the emergence of the game in the North East. Newcastle Thunder do not wave a magic wand and RL appears, equally they do not pour £££s into the game. The North East, up until March 2013 had 4 RFL staff who were all made redundant due to reductions in Sport England funding, the North East then had the support of an allocated member of staff from the RFL but the day to day running of the North East RL then fell to a group of dedicated volunteers with Jim
  4. I'm not for a second defending the suggestion that New York should be admitted to Super League before that assumption is made. I'm curious as to what your measure of success would be for "making soccer work" as I believe it is the currently the third most popular sport in the US, with only Basketball and Baseball having more registered participants. The MLS is one of the fastest growing sports leagues in the World, and it was only founded in 1993, it now has a higher average attendance than the EFL Championship, ranking 9th in the world. Sheffield has a population of 550,000, New Yo
  5. There is a massive misconception that the development in the North East has just been bank rolled by Newcastle Thunder, this is not the case at all. They have been able to allocate resources in the form of staff which has supported the growth but it is not all down to them. The game in the NE got a massive boost with the Super League days in 1999, which was just as quickly taken away when the "merger" with Hull went through. Committed volunteers kept their own clubs running with very limited support from the RFL. In the lead up to the Whole Sport Plan Funding allocation in 2013 there were
  6. Or ... maybe the Falcons game has been planned for some time and Thunder have to fit in around that so they had limited options for KO times?
  7. Disagree by all means, a healthy debate is more than welcome on this forum. The only thing I’d like to question about your argument is the paragraph above. Now that Halifax have been accepted and they’re now no longer in the discussion, Keighley reserves and/or Whitehaven would train on evenings, often with volunteer coaches, have limited S&C, Medical support etc, so the only difference is that they might have a club owned training ground. What they may get, however, is a playing opportunity that might be more appropriately matched for that individual’s development which is what
  8. I’m not exactly sure what point you’re trying to make here. In my previous post I mentioned that for a club to want to run a Reserves but not an Academy is, in my opinion, a glaring indicator of where the RFL are looking when making their decisions. I’m all for a player Pathway at a club, but don’t believe that this should be only Reserves and First Team, that to be is not a Pathway, it’s a cheap way of getting a lot of players involved and seeing if any good comes from them. It may be an opening post but I have followed these forums for years and I have been involved in the game at
  9. All 9 teams played each other, 8 fixtures and one BYE week. Once then the Top 5 went into the playoffs. Positions were decided, in the event of being joint on Points by a Head to Head result so it finished: 1 Jarrow Vikings 2 Edinburgh Eagles 3 Cramlington Rockets 4 West View Warriors 5 Wallsend Eagles
  10. There are a couple of ways you can look at it, and we will never know the facts around what the discussions were that took place in the MO Dept. From the outside it does look as if he has been dropped which essentially could be interpreted as hanging him out to dry and appeasing the crowds. I personally don't think he did anything wrong, the tone was indicated by Chris Hill early on in my opinion, with the challenge that he got sin binned for, he as captain indicates to the rest of his players the type of behaviour that is deemed to be acceptable. Warrington didn't respond well to Catala
  11. I have to say I find all the horror about Keighley, Halifax and Whitehaven being refused entry to the Reserves Championship quite surprising. Whilst clubs have opted in recent years to support a Reserve side (and take the cheap option as it costs money to run an Academy but it is relatively cheap to run a Reserves as you don't necessarily have to pay your players) lets think about one of the fundamental reasons for why people thought that reserves should be brought back in. There was/is a gap at the end of Academy U19s when some players (lets use SL as an example) are not quite ready for
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