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wiganermike

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  1. 1. The use or not of the term amateur is semantics really. Our sport chose a few years ago to call the BARLA clubs 'community clubs' rather than amateur. Back in the decades after 1895 such clubs were called junior clubs, I think when Fev and Castleford joined the league back in the 1920s they were still described as junior clubs before stepping up (but enough of that tangent). There is nothing to stop a club that pays its playing roster styling itself as a community club so I use the term amateur in order to distinguish between those clubs paying players and those not. 2. Would a player not being paid to play have a contract? They would be registered to play for a particular club to prevent constant switching but I wouldn't expect much else. In such a scenario a club would be wholly amateur (not a mix with some players being paid and some not). Given the disparity between the top and bottom of League 1 as it stands now I don't imagine things would change much with regard to fitness and playing standards across the league when comparing top of the table to the bottom end. Instances of League 1 clubs losing to amateur (community) clubs have been much more common than they used to be, and this has not only happened to expansion clubs. Finally, as I am a fan of a SL club and can make such suggestions with a certain degree of detachment... An open question to fans of current League 1 clubs, or of clubs faced with a possibility of being in League 1 post-restructure. If funding/support was withdrawn from League 1 as many fear and it meant the continued existence of your club as opposed to its demise, would you rather see your club become amateur and continue to play in League 1 or to see them fold and disappear altogether?
  2. Though I broadly agree with your point, Coventry Bears were the last pre-existing amateur/community club to apply and join League 1 with Hemel Stags (who subsequently returned to being a community club when it didn't work out) also stepping up after being a long established community club in between Skolars and Coventry entering League 1. WWR were also a pre-established community club before they bought the South Wales Ironmen club to take their place though that wasn't a step up in the same sense as Skolars, Coventry and Hemel. The NCL clubs do appear to have no interest in stepping up (even though many could outperform the bottom half of League 1) though community clubs established outside the heartlands do sometimes state a desire to eventually make the step up to League 1. So a full pyramid as seen in association football would neither be desirable (as the NCL is seen as the pinnacle of the community game) or produce any change as most clubs earning promotion would decline the promotion. As for the future of League 1 (i.e those clubs left out of the upcoming restructure at SL/Championship level) it may be necessary if the number of clubs within it is to be maintained that a relaxation of rules is made to allow some clubs to become amateur whilst still competing in League 1 so that any capable of funding a semi-professional existence can do so but that any that cannot do so are not expelled from the competition.
  3. I don't know if it has been ruled out but it could be possible that the on field ref overruled/dismissed the input of the touch judge (who had a better view) and came to the wrong decision (despite then sending it up to the VR) as a consequence of doing so. The officials are all wired up to communicate verbally so it is not always apparent when touch judges inform the ref of something. If something like that did happen then it would explain both refs being sanctioned for the error. I agree with you that the process of the ref having to make a call before sending a decision to the VR should be scrapped.
  4. As well as Fielden, Michael Dobson had a big impact on our team in 2006 too. Our halfbacks weren't working either until Dennis Moran left and he was brought in. Fielden gets cited more as his signing cost so much money whereas Dobson was a loan signing.
  5. Was that not a rugby (RU) international pre-split? I had read in RL history books that the first post split international was NU (England) v Other Nationalities in 1904 at Central Park, Wigan. Some Northern Union players had played in international games prior to the 1895 split.
  6. Along with Dally Messenger who has already been mentioned, L.B Todd one of the other NZ three-quarters was Lance Todd. I am surprised that only two Hunslet players are in the Northern Union team listed as they would have been on the way to winning a clean sweep of 'All Four Cups' during that season.
  7. I think Messenger agreed to switch to Northern Union and joined the touring party as they began the long journey to England but not many (perhaps none at all at the time he switched) Australian clubs had switched codes at the time when he did. When the Kiwis toured to commemorate the initial All Golds tour they included an Australian (Steve Price IIRC) as a nod to Messenger's participation.
  8. Wigan's pink kit is a charity one too (Cancer Research). It has been used 3 or 4 times this season.
  9. In proportion to the average home support I would say both teams had a similar ratio. As well as those in the South stand there were a lot of Wigan fans along both sides of the pitch too. Hopefully some of the football fans and casual fans for the day that followed Huddersfield will have been impressed and will start to attend games at Huddersfield.
  10. I assume that the limiting of the number of academies is to prevent community clubs having all of their players taken. If a typical academy squad has 3 players in it that will go on to be established first team players then they need 20 plus players that won't make it just to give the 3 a team to play in until they are old enough. Cut the number of academies and you cut the number of squad place holders (for want of a kinder term) needed across the competition so the number taken from the community game is fewer. With a limited number of academies able to function it makes sense to place them where the greatest amount of money is and that is in SL. So unless in a strategic outpost like London or Newcastle the catchment area for non SL clubs is already covered by a SL club. Bradford is the only outlier in that I think. It's far from an ideal situation.
  11. It will probably last until about the time of the RLWC semi finals when the latest incarnation of 'Three Lions' or 'Vindaloo' will take over as the FIFA World Cup approaches. For those who don't like it, it could be worse, the football fans were singing an Atomic Kitten song prior to the Euros last year. We could have had that blaring out yesterday.
  12. He is starting to improve on that front but it is still a work in progress. He's a skilful player and does a lot of defensive work but it can be frustrating when he does something daft and heaps more pressure on the defence (he's not the only one doing it so it isn't all on him). He is still only young so has plenty of time to work on it and get it right. He had a good game in the final but it is the high shots that are the talking point.
  13. The second bit in bold seems to contradict the assertion in the first bit in bold. Smithies should have been binned but so should Yates. (There is also an argument for a card for holding down French when he broke at the end of the first half). The officials saw the incidents differently and no cards were shown. Smithies does have a tendency to make high tackles and it is something he needs to work on correcting as it is a real flaw in his game. He now has a month to reflect and work on it before he can play next. People can complain about Smithies' ill-discipline if they wish to but they should also acknowledge that he was not the only man lucky to be on the pitch. It isn't the complaints about the lack of a card but the one way witch hunt that I find annoying. The decisions not to brandish cards were at least consistent. As I put in another post I could understand and sympathise with it more had Yates been binned and Smithies not.
  14. Certainly a 2nd offence should mean more consideration is given but as I said the video ref has the ability to intervene if he feels a card is warranted. The fact that he didn't on any occasion suggests that he like James Child didn't consider it (or Smithies' first offence, or Yates high hit) worthy of a card. If they didn't consider the first worthy of a card then it may not have been a consideration when the second offence occurred. Those of us sat in the stands or watching at home may not agree but at least the officials' approach was consistent. If Yates had been binned and Smithies not then I could have more sympathy for the anger. For whatever reason the officials didn't see a need for any cards so we didn't see any. The rolling back of the early season clampdown may well have played a part in that as others have said.
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