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Everything posted by bowes

  1. I'd expect you to get a franchise moving out to Oxford or MK on condition you keep up London player development, though hard to see who to chop. Salford as things are would seem obvious but the new stadium may help things a lot, especially if Cas and Wakey don't.
  2. Toulouse yes at some point, but there's not nearly enough playing talent yet, the one French SL side struggles. They can't apply for 2012 anyway. Marseille no, you may as well go for an English virgin area, RL has shrunk massively there and the latent support from the 70s will be dying off. They just have a poor 3rd French tier side now. Aude has much more potential. We want a SE side so the juniors have a path to SL but London has failed (as happens in most sports that manage fine elsewhere). Very little English virgin territory has been tried as all the eggs have been in the unachievable London basjket.
  3. It's actually 100% impossible for everyone to have alternating home and away games (think about it- how would 2 teams who play at home in odd weeks play each other), but no team should be away more than 2 rounds in a row without requesting it, hard when you've got bye weeks though.
  4. They need to restructure the game and that needs a NCL switch over from winter. Though in the short term surely playing each other thrice would be much better than what we have now (or something along those lines)
  5. I'm man enough to not back down to criticism of my common sense view that Essex Eels were very strongly in the wrong for playing young players in National League 3 and weren't prepared to listed to anyone that pointed out the obvious. I said they were either #### or incredibly naive and I'm inclined to give the benefit of the doubt it was the latter. Unless someone gives me a reasonable explanation (not just wishy washy nonsense) of why they not only felt they had to step up (which could be put down to a mistake) but stay up for a further season against the RFL's wishes (their words not mine that the RFL tried to drop them after 1 season) and common sense then I don't see why I am wrong to say they're at best very naive. It is a truth plain and simple that it is very wrong and in fact immoral to put teenagers new to RL in standards 2-3 divisions above their ability and leave them there when there's a very clear problem. I've been proven right and at the time anyone (not just me) who pointed out the unsustainability and mistake of putting them in NL3 got tons of abuse, even people long involved in the game who made very constructive criticism and yet we've been long since proved very right and Essex Eels very wrong
  6. I'd have 2 National divisions below the Championship and then split into North West, North East and South (as the RFL want), though over time you could move the North/South split further up the pyramid til it reaches a higher level. Though only Skolars and Hemel would currently be southern in those national divisions (if the Championship expands to include South Wales). I'd expand the Championship and have it open to any sides meeting minimum criteria, but no automatic promotion and relegation until you reach the national divisions and then I'd have minimum standards between the national and regional divisions to begin with.
  7. I'd merge down the top 3 divisions to 14 and 16ish teams (which a few switches round) as 10 teams isn't enough (though there is a case for 12 sides in SL). Then look at merging the remainder C1 with the top of the NCL as part of a National League structure
  8. We need something between Under 16s and open age in the midlands. I believe Under 19s is the most likely age we'd go, though most sides of that age group get put in the merit league at the moment. Of course if we go for west and east midlands regionals and Under 19s we'd not be able to run the merit league so we'd have to think hard about that as it would make it harder for adult sides to get into the sport in the short term (presumably remaining merit league sides would have to be directed to the nearest merit league, e.g. Dronfield to Yorkshire if possible under that scenario), but then again we really need a way of keeping our Under 16s in the sport and 3 years at Under 19s would be a good way of doing it (we're not at the stage of looking at U18s and U21s).
  9. If it were just a badly run club you'd be right, but it was a huge risk to players' welfare
  10. I haven't heard enough to make me think that I need to, primarily on the player welfare side of things. I am glad that Brentwood Elvers are still going as that is good work and none of my criticism is directed at the likes of junior coaches so I'll apologise if I didn't explicitly exclude them enough. Guess not then, tough one I thought the Skolars C1 side took in players from other areas of the South, but perhaps not (Premier I thought were locals and largely separate from the pro side, they did once split as Haringey Hornets and it has been considered again). Definitely medium term National Youth League sides in the East and South of London would be very desirable once we're ready, what would happen with open age is dependant on the way the structure changes with the amateur game switching to summer etc.
  11. Another problem with getting sides in these places is that due to a change in the law (players receiving any pay needing a hard to get sports visa not the easier to get working holiday visa) it's nigh on impossible to bring Australians into the country to play semi-pro so you'd find it very hard to get the starting playing standards. This is roughly what Crusaders got busted for and why Skolars aren't the side there were and part of the reason Gateshead aren't (the other being money). These sides and Scorpions are now local based which is good for the future, though Skolars and Gateshead are currently at too high a level for their playing ability and the same problem would occur for a Scottish side (I very much doubt an Irish side would get off the ground).
  12. Best to end debate on Essex Eels as I've heard nothing to change my mind and it's taken us way off topic. Back on topic: Would Harlequins moving out of London raise the relevancy of the Skolars as a developmental toool in the way South Wales Scorpions currently are for Crusaders (the Under 18s will also switch to be part of them in the NYL)? I know there's already a link up but if they moved to Oxford or MK then they wouldn't be able to run local Under 20s (like Crusaders don't run a Wrexham based one), so would these sort of players be likely to end up at the Skolars? Plus of course they'd be the biggest club in the capital as well.
  13. Anyone that insists on playing teams of 11 teenagers new to rugby league against top amateur clubs is either #### who wants to risk serious injury or very ignorant, full stop. Essex Eels folded and it was inevitable, anyone with any common sense could have said that, full stop. There's no defence for what went on whatsoever, I've seen them play and it was a joke. Welfare of players comes above sponsorship deals (which Essex Eels said were good so I'm trusting that, some people alleged they were just club propaganda) or committee members' egos. I cannot believe anyone still defends that failure of Essex Eels in National League 3 years after I and the many other people that saw through the propaganda to what was really going on have been proven right
  14. The part about them not being originally let in I heard from Marto mainly in reference to Bramley, the RFL wanting rid of them was quite a heated public debate on here. Though I heard originally the RFL put Essex on the list of clubs by mistake and they had to quickly get people to set them up, not sure how much truth there is in this? I know every now and again the RFL take a proactive approach to try to get people to set up clubs in areas with few clubs, the South West Conference and Bristol Sonics are testimony to this so can be a good idea. (In fact I'd try it in the area just to the South of London, plus the Thames Valley region to try to get more localised divisions down south but that's another debate). However, unfortunately the ambitions of the committee were not the same as those of the players and the sponsorship deal for playing nationally made it harder to drop down that it otherwise would have been. Either way I'm glad the juniors survived and likewise Medway Dragons largely have taken over from Kent Ravens in the junior front for that area (and very well at that, believe some of the same people are involved).
  15. Skolars are in North London, but other than that no sides up there. Staines Titans are the juniors for West London Sharks but yes the rest is East, South or Hertfordshire. I think long term we'll probably see a couple of National Youth League sides cover this gap, but doubt we'll see it til a few lots of juniors have started to come through. Those of North London and Hertfordshire already have Hemel Stags in NYL and the top lot can go Harlequins Academy
  16. It's not his plan, it was the original RFL one. Huddersfield weren't a big club at the time and were intended to survive as a standalone club in the First Division. The worst idea there was including Barrow in with the other Cumbrian sides, though at the time they were on their last legs (before 'merging' with Carlisle) so I suppose made some sense, but geographically would fail
  17. As far as I know: For 2004 Essex Eels applied and initially got rejected as did Bramley; Carlisle and Birmingham got promoted. Later on appeal Bramley were let in and they needed a southern side to make up the numbers and Essex were the only ones interested. A few weeks later Teesside folded so the RFL could have got their even balance and 12 teams anyway, but obviously hindsight is a wonderful thing. By stepping up Essex Eels lost RU players (logically because of the crossover) and were weaker than the side finishing midtable in the East division. After a poor season the RFL tried to drop them to the South Premier and they kicked up a fuss and appealed and around that time South London dropped out so the RFL thought it was easier to let them in. At the end of the season they still weren't keen on dropping but the RFL stopped all or some of their central handout in part as a fine to cover Warrington Wizards cost when Essex Eels couldn't raise a team at home (away up north they managed with Pennine League players) and they entered financial ruins and new people tried to save them but managed to save the most important part, the juniors. Either way their open age were always a joke, good juniors doesn't improve the standard of your first team. It was always going to fail miserably putting them in NL3 that early and they represented everything wrong with rushing expansion
  18. Fair point, that's number 1 issue with ground and location 2nd IMO
  19. It got talked up as a big ground, probably more than it was, but yes the capacity of 5000 was Kent Ravens in retrospect (another overambitious club). Either way Essex Eels did the world of harm to the image of National League 3 as a serious league (they weren't the only side) and putting young players new to the sport against top amateur sides was incredibly reckless at best and the main reason the RFL should have stepped in much earlier than they did. Unfortunately the concept of that big a national spread wasn't workable anyway as can be told by the teams good enough on the pitch that travelling was too much for (Coventry, South London, St Albans)
  20. The other problems are finances and playing standardd (you can't just ship in Aussies now), the RFL seem happy with Hemel's junior development work especially that they enter a National Youth League side. I'd imagine when Championship licensing comes in the standards would be lowered enough for Hemel to slot into whatever replaces C1 (though depends how big the Championship becomes)
  21. Eastern Rhinos from Colchester are the only other one. Brentwood Elvers were run by the same people as Essex Eels but when the original reckless owners bailed (who had not only taken them into NL3 but left them there after a year when they were obviously not even close to up to it and moved them from their home base in Basildon to a 5000 capacity ground in Romford) the new more responsible ones realised they had to separate the juniors as that was the part most worth keeping. They tried to save the adults but it was too little too late and with the rise of Hainault Bulldogs the area was well covered
  22. Really? Players can be replaced more easily than a place to play. If Quins chuck you out or up the rent then suddenly it's much more serious to worry about. Plus crowds are poor and if anything falling and so the chance of somewhere cheaper to rent with bigger crowds is a huge deal
  23. Sounds like a potential for a Championship side some time in the medium to distant future maybe?
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