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fighting irish

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About fighting irish

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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. That's not a bad result. I think I'd have pitched the full Jamaica side against a full England Lionhearts (or Wales Dragonhearts) first. Is the England Knights game part of a tour, or a one off game?
  2. What's next for them on tour? It'll be a big step for the World Cup squad to play England Knights in October, don't you think?
  3. I suspect this was part of the plan all along. Super League get reduced money but don't have to share it and Ch and Lg 1. look elsewhere for a few quid. It might even have been Sky's idea. If BBC and Ch 4 are interested, the competition would drive up the money involved. It could be good. Toronto (or Toulouse) and Ottawa would add spice too along with New York the year after. Ha Ha, what if viewing figures overtook Super League???
  4. He might yet MOK, he might yet. My view is that he is playing Devils Advocate. While the ''dreamers'' come up with the big ideas, he's sounding an alarm, warning us all not to weaken the existing structure while we attempt to stimulate growth elsewhere. We need to take heed of his warnings and new plans to spread the game should include contingencies to manage the risks and avert the worst of Parksider's predictions. That's the responsible pragmatic paternal approach and I see it as a valuable contribution to the debate. The problem I have with his position, is that he openly confesses his belief that it's impossible to develop the game anywhere else, other than where its already played. As a corollary of that belief, he opines any attempt to spread the game into new areas, is a waste of time and money and worse, very likely to jeopardise the (extremely fragile) status quo. I am diametrically opposed to his point of view. I believe our game is undeniably excellent. I believe that because its excellent, it is (and will be) very appealing to new people the world over if its presented in a confident and professional way (as evinced by the spontaneous appearance of new fledgling nations in recent years). So while I value his input, I'm afraid he wouldn't get my vote, to steer the ship. He seems resigned to the inevitable decline of our sport and offers nothing (no ideas) to slow the rate of decline, let alone stop the rot completely and stimulate growth. It would break my heart to see our game continue to deteriorate in the public eye, or in terms of participation numbers, or standards of play on the field, so its not enough, to do nothing, to stand by and just accept a hopeless, withering view of the future. In my opinion, we have to grow or die. We have to speculate, to some extent. We need leaders who are real believers in the value of our sport, who are genuinely proud to represent us and confident in the games ability to garner new people in increasing numbers, as our existing followers age and die away and who will make serious detailed plans to ensure the games survival and long term prosperity. Here's the rub, I don't think we can rely on the RFL to do it all for us. We as individuals, can't afford to stand aside and wait for our saviour to appear. If we love the game, we should get involved, do more. Start kids teams, support amateur clubs, create new student and school teams, become a referee, coach, organiser or fund raiser. Build the game in some small way, wherever you live. That's what's happening in Belgrade, in Nigeria, in Jamaica, in Brazil, in Norway etc etc. If they can do it, starting with nothing, why can't we in Cumbria, Yorkshire or Lancashire, or anywhere else for that matter? We should turn our attention to these efforts and really celebrate and publicise, new clubs in new areas wherever they appear. (We are often contemptuous of them). It doesn't matter whether they can compete with heartland clubs. We should encourage them to stick at it and welcome them into the fold, offer our advice, and cooperation to nurture their development. All most of them want (when they start) is a little advice, and someone to play against. Let Super League and RFL try to manage the top end while we, the lovers of the game, mobilise and develop the grass roots wherever we can. Bob Brown of Hemel Hempstead will tell you, Parksider is wrong, it can be done if you want it enough.
  5. We have neglected the development of participation in Rugby League for over a hundred years. Bob Brown, of Hemel Hempstead started his club in virgin territory about 40 odd years ago, with nothing more than a love of the game and a belief based on a simple piece of logic. If Rugby League is a great game (let alone ''the greatest game'') then it must be possible to promote it, to any unbiased group of people, anywhere on the planet. He acted consistent with his beliefs and has been putting his money and his effort behind his belief ever since and has built a thriving amateur club almost entirely on his own (and his members efforts). The rest of the game, uses the phrase ''the greatest game'' but acts as if its impossible to promote it to any newcomers. This is a contradiction in terms. Either its the greatest game, so it can be promoted anywhere, or if it can't be promoted then its not a very good game at all. Why don't we act consistently with our beliefs? Many will argue that we do, but it hasn't worked. Well I say we've been expending our energies at the wrong end of the spectrum. We should find and encourage, more (many more) Bob Browns and build our game from the ground up all over the country. With growing participation will come higher standards, more spectators, more backers, more television subscribers, more sponsors more every blo ody thing. Yes it takes time, decades, generations even, ask Bob Brown. But not doing it (for over a hundred years) in a world full of opportunity for our young people leads to inevitable decline. This is what we are reaping now. The scant harvest produced when the number of seeds cast is reduced each year. What do you/ we expect? It's like the car-boot sale entrepreneur who dreams of getting rich and is shocked to discover one day that his wardrobe is empty!
  6. Keep pumping kids into the system at the under 11's age group. Watch them grow into Open Age. As long as we keep filling (and increasing the numbers) from the bottom, everything else will take care of itself.
  7. Oxford, write to Barla and ask them to organise their leagues in odd numbers of teams so new teams can get friendlies when they start up.
  8. I'd been reading the schmozzle about Toronto being favoured by allowing them to play fixtures in blocks.
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