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fighting irish

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fighting irish last won the day on July 29 2019

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About fighting irish

  • Birthday 27/06/1956

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    Aberavon, South Wales
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    Long term rugby league fanatic, former player coach and founder of the Welsh Rugby League and still keenly interested in news of global development.

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  1. I agree with Tommy's arguments about a welcoming attitude Harry. I confronted the problem a long time ago about providing what we needed as a new club in a remote area. Yes we needed players, and money (which we found through our own efforts) but what we couldn't provide for ourselves was opposition. Someone to play against. Our solution was to write to existing northern clubs and ask them to visit us on tour. The response rate was fairly low (given the number of clubs up there, and the numbers we wrote to) but we had enough to fill our first season or two, which was exactly what we needed to get going. I think we played 18-ish games in our first season. We received a lot of offers to travel to us over Easter but we could only say yes, to one of them. This proved that clubs were more than willing to come to us, but were hamstrung by being locked into a league programme with no gaps in it. So I wrote to BARLA and attended their AGM asking them to organise their leagues in odd numbers of teams. This would have the benefit of ensuring one team each week would be able to rest their players, or if they fancied it, to arrange an ''out of area'' fixture (go on tour). This has the immediate benefit of assisting development areas to find the fixtures they so desperately need to get going. This idea, would free-up the rigid, inward looking, league organised amateur game and give a huge boost to those in development areas, while brightening up the season for players (in the north) who've been bumping heads with the same blokes, week in, week out for years. If you don't already know, then believe me, an mid season tour to a new area and all the associated antics, is a great highlight and something that lads remember and chat about for years. Life-long friendships are formed, a great sense of camaraderie is forged and a broader outlook engendered in all concerned. We are all in this together 'arry. One of the missing links in the development matrix is this kind of cross-country pollination that fuelled the growth of Ra Ra for more than a century. Even if we tried it experimentally with just a few of the more well-established, stable leagues to gauge the popularity (and success) of the idea, I believe it would pay enormous dividends.
  2. I'd love to hear your story. Whatever the know-it-all's here say, its people like you that the game depends on to grow. Taking up the challenge of organising teams/clubs just for the sheer joy of playing and being involved. Our (the games) biggest mistake, is not acknowledging this fact and the immense debt of gratitude the game owes to people like you. Some here dismiss it (the junior/amateur game) as irrelevant or unimportant and speak of the achievements of the likes of Bob Brown at Hemel Hempstead with such contempt, describing the club as a failure. They make me sick. Good luck in your endeavours I hope you get as much fun out of it as its given me, over the years.
  3. I've really enjoyed reading the posts about the number of clubs around the country. I hope we can continue to grow into new areas for decades to come.
  4. Yes, but its the willingness to grasp the nettle and really spread the game in a genuine and authentic way, deeply embedding it in the communities, in huge numbers the really gets the job done. Eventually, those numbers alone can sustain a pro' club on their own, making the game resilient to shocks and downturns. This is the antithesis of being totally dependent on a single (perhaps fickle) benefactor for whom the club may be a mere plaything, or just a short term ego boost until the next ''big'' thing comes down the pipe. All the other attempts, (Fulham, Kent, Cardiff, Bridgend, etc etc etc) decried here by the anti-expansion traditionalists have one thing in common, they failed to do this nitty gritty groundwork, planting the seeds of long term growth that really embed a game in their areas. To repeat my comment to Big Picture, whatever else you do, you must do this. Newcastle are showing how it ought to be done, London have some success and so do we, in Wales, although its never mentioned on these boards. You can't get something for nothing.
  5. The grudge you bear is 30 years old. When are you going to get over it. Its no wonder you're broke, you're spending all your money on therapy.
  6. How about producing a year on year increase in the total number of amateur players in their locality? As Newcastle are.
  7. What do you mean by ''not giving backing to clubs already in existence''? What kind of backing do you mean? and why is spreading the game detrimental to existing clubs?
  8. At last, an argument about doing something that really works. Every pro' club, every league, every lover of this game, should be pumping out this message, in every town, the whole (RL) world over. Junior development is pure marketing and it should be an ongoing, never ending part of every clubs marketing plans. The lifetime value (to the game) of new fans is immense and it costs little to create them by introducing this great game, to them when they are young. To Big Picture I say, whatever else you try, you must do this. The sad fact is that in more than 100 years of existence, we have never systematically provided opportunities for new young kids, to play and grow to love, our game. Just imagine, if every club, everywhere, were doing what Newcastle is doing, to embed the game in the communities in which they operate and had been doing it for over a hundred years. Big Picture's global franchises would already be here.
  9. My experience, for what its worth, is in sales. Have you considered employing ''risk reversal'' as a way of persuading suspicious, sceptical and pennywise club owners to get you to do your stuff? If you are certain you can make meaningful changes (generate growth and monetise it) would you be prepared to do it on a percentage basis? Take your fee, from the profits but in the event that you are unsuccessful let them out of it.
  10. I am absolutely sold, on your argument. I agree that our clubs are poor at increasing their turnover and supporter base, not only to the extent that they're missing their full potential but to the point where the future of the whole game is in jeopardy. Now, I don't know anyone currently involved in the operation of a professional club and don't have the expertise you speak of, so I wondered, have you approached any one/club and offered to help/advise them in these areas? I don't mean as an amateur/volunteer if you are disinclined to do that, but on a professional basis.
  11. What a great article, lets hope it brings in a lot more ''eyeballs''.
  12. How come a thread entitled Albert Kelly spends all its time talking about Mark Sneyd? I like Sneyd, a lot. I think Albert Kelly will be missed, on his day he's a world beater. Was it true that Radford headbutted him, before resigning?
  13. Well I'm a bystander at the moment but will almost certainly throw my hat in the ring when things warm up. I presume they will join the Welsh league but can't say at this stage. The talk is a 2021 launch. My preference would be to create a friendly fixture list in the first season, with any and all clubs willing to travel to Aberavon to help us get established. I'm a firm believer in the value of a fixture secretary, creating friendly fixtures a season in advance to assist in the establishment of new clubs. The chap organising it is a very capable administrator so I have every confidence in him. I'll keep you posted.
  14. Aberavon Fighting Irish are coming back, next season.
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