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Featherstone in SL? What's the game plan?

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Let me preface this by saying (for the avoidance of off-topic spam) that I firmly believe that whoever wins next weeks decider should be in SL in 2020.

Having said that, I'm interested to know what the game plan would be for Featherstone should they happen to win next week?

1. PLAYERS I understand from comments on this forum that Fev have about 10-12 of their own players signed for next season. I think we can assume that some of those would not wish to convert to full time, meaning that you might have, say, 6-8 players ready for 2020. Given that most of the recruiting has already happened for next season, where would you get sufficient players of a good standard to create a squad of 23-26 players?

2. DUAL REG Obviously you cannot DR with teams in the same division (I believe that is the rule), so you'd be presumably looking at perhaps getting a few loan players? We already know that Leeds will be running Reserves as well as first team next season, so how likely is it that Leeds (or anyone else) will have players that they will want tied into long-term loan deals? So, again, where will you get the players that you would undoubtedly need?

3. CROWDS Someone said on another thread that they thought Fev would 'easy' get 6-7K crowds in SL. Why? The average this season has been 2304, virtually the same as it has been for a few years. By comparison Wakefield averaged 5468 and Castleford 7253. Are there there really another 4-5K latent RL fans floating around the Wakefield MDC who are just waiting for Featherstone to get into SL?

4. LONG TERM VISION Is it just about Featherstone 'having a crack' for a season and then returning back to their (possibly) natural level. Or do the club have a long term strategy for being a permanent feature in SL. What are the plans for an Academy? Reserves? Sponsors? Community Engagement? How do they plan to grow their business to create a sustainable future in SL?

Genuinely, I'm not asking these questions to create trouble or troll people. As I said, if Fev win next win, good luck to them, they'll have done what was required by the rules of the competition and should be promoted. But I'm puzzled about how they see they long-term future, given the pretty obvious (and oft-mentioned) factors that simply can't be avoided when we talk about Featherstone.

Hopefully, the Featherstone fans will come on this thread and engage in good debate rather than just attacking me ūüėČ

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 London bronco's , Leigh , Widnes and any other team aspiring to enter the promised land of superleague will tell you the climb to succeed at the higher level is beyond most .

But good luck to whoever goes up .ūüėÄūüėÄūüėÄ

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Good questions these, that I'm sure a lot of Fev fans have also been asking themselves.

Fundamental for me is the long-term security of the club. Mark Campbell and Davide Longo seem to have been steering a steady ship for a while, and I hope that if we do get into Super League, we have the plans in place not to go the boom-and-bust route of others. 

Having said that, I'm absolutely buzzing about the idea of little old Fev in Super League, so it's difficult not to get giddy!

Let me have a go at answering your points:

1. PLAYERS I'm sure most of our part-time players will want to stay on a part-time contract in the event of promotion. 

2. DUAL REG I'd hope we can use our connections with Leeds to secure a few long-term loans. I'd hazard a guess that some on the periphery of the Leeds first team, when offered a year in the Leeds reserves or a year with us, would go for the latter as it would improve their game more playing SL week in week out.

3. CROWDS I reckon we could realistically aim for 4-5k. We got 3.5k for the Toronto game last season, with almost zero away support. That to me says that there are at least an extra 1k fans out there on top of our usual 2.5k who would be willing to come out to see bigger clubs play at POR.

4. LONG TERM VISION I'd love us be a long-term fixture of Super League, but right how I'd be happy with a year like London have had, giving the league a good go and securing some famous victories, without going bust.

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We've got at least 15 players already contracted for 2020. 

So let's say we want 10 new full time players. 

We'd go to the agents and find out which NRL & SL Players are out of contract and sign the ones that are a good fit for the Club. 

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8 minutes ago, Smudger06 said:

We've got at least 15 players already contracted for 2020. 

So let's say we want 10 new full time players. 

We'd go to the agents and find out which NRL & SL Players are out of contract and sign the ones that are a good fit for the Club. 

Actually, the agents would be coming to us. 

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Don't underestimate Fev's management and the contacts they have through the game. In January plenty of people were asking very similar questions when Fev had just nine registered players at training  - how on earth can they be remotely competitive in the Championship this year etc? Yet here we are, and I make it eleven of the 17 that played last night weren't Fev players on January 1st this year.

In particular, Fev have proved more than able to make some signings from overseas that were big-name by Championship standards, eg Reni Maitua, Cam King, and plenty of others, and I'd expect that avenue to be explored again if we make SL. Yes it's not ideal that it has to be done so late on but that's just how it is and there are usually lots of deals still to be done from November onwards.

As far as long-term prospects, yes that first season would be very tough, but if we survived that I'd be fairly confident we'd have a decent shot at becoming the pre-eminent team in the WF postcode, the only thing really separating us and Wakefield since that play-off final 21 years ago has been the central funding, they have used it very well in recent years to be fair but the difference between building a team with £2m funding and less than half a million is obvious. Fev own their own stadium plus lots of land around it, some of which (12 acres I believe) is proposed for development, and the facilities are used frequently outside match days, whilst sponsorship at the club seems to be in rude health.

I'd turn the question round and say, assuming Fev could survive the first season (which I admit will be tough), what factors would you see preventing them from being as successful as some of the other lesser-supported clubs in SL?

 

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I really can't see what Featherstone will bring to Super League if they win the Championship grand final if I'm honest apart from a couple of more local derbies for Cas and Wakey.

A vast majority south of the Trent will have never heard of them. So unlikely to get new fans to the game

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1 minute ago, The Future is League said:

I really can't see what Featherstone will bring to Super League if they win the Championship grand final if I'm honest apart from a couple of more local derbies for Cas and Wakey.

A vast majority south of the Trent will have never heard of them. So unlikely to get new fans to the game

No different to nearly all the other clubs in SL then bar Leeds, Hull and Catalans. They deserve a shot more than Wakey

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1 minute ago, The Future is League said:

I really can't see what Featherstone will bring to Super League if they win the Championship grand final if I'm honest apart from a couple of more local derbies for Cas and Wakey.

A vast majority south of the Trent will have never heard of them. So unlikely to get new fans to the game

I don't get this management speak.

What does a team need to 'bring'? What does a team need to 'add'?

What are these mystical 'criteria' that need to be met?

Who are all these multi billion dollar companies waiting to pump money into the game if only teams with exotic names are playing?

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In football, many people embrace the smaller teams getting promoted to Super League. For instance Huddersfield, Blackpool, Bradford, etc. They even want the "underdog" to go on and win the Premier League i.e Leicester and Blackburn. 

Featherstone may get a chance to play in the top division - this is an incredible story and achievement for many reasons. The trade papers would love to hear the story of how the club keeps fighting and proving people wrong. 

The club has come a long way and has a great opportunity. The dream is alive again (maybe for this week only), but it feels amazing. 

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2008 RFL Wakefield & District Young Volunteer of the Year

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5 minutes ago, Private Baldrick said:

I don't get this management speak.

What does a team need to 'bring'? What does a team need to 'add'?

What are these mystical 'criteria' that need to be met?

Who are all these multi billion dollar companies waiting to pump money into the game if only teams with exotic names are playing?

Exactly this. Imagine football fans going "What will Sheffield United bring to the Premier League?" it just shows how low rent our sport is!

Who are these hypothetical fans who are suddenly going to be interested in a sport because a team from Toronto get promoted over Featherstone? The only new fans watching Super League next year would be those in Toronto.

If Toronto suddenly established a cricket team to complete in the County Championship, I wouldn't suddenly start watching cricket. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Chris Taylor said:

In football, many people embrace the smaller teams getting promoted to Super League. For instance Huddersfield, Blackpool, Bradford, etc. They even want the "underdog" to go on and win the Premier League i.e Leicester and Blackburn. 

Featherstone may get a chance to play in the top division - this is an incredible story and achievement for many reasons. The trade papers would love to hear the story of how the club keeps fighting and proving people wrong. 

The club has come a long way and has a great opportunity. The dream is alive again (maybe for this week only), but it feels amazing. 

I have to agree. My personal preference is that TWP make it, but if Fev make it, then great and good on them. They will have done a great job in a competitive league against the odds. 

Sometimes we should enjoy the sport for what it is. 

Hope for a cracker on Saturday either way.

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11 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I have to agree. My personal preference is that TWP make it, but if Fev make it, then great and good on them. They will have done a great job in a competitive league against the odds. 

Sometimes we should enjoy the sport for what it is. 

Hope for a cracker on Saturday either way.

Agreed . We put the onus back on the pitch - where it should be , and then we go into deep n meaningful mode wondering why we‚Äôre doing ¬†that if the ‚Äė wrong ‚Äė team wins ! ¬†If Fev win they‚Äôve earned it through performance and earned their shot like any side in any sport . That‚Äôs what we introduced so that‚Äôs it . They don‚Äôt need to ‚Äė bring ‚Äėanything other than their right to compete which they‚Äôve won through performance as per the rules !

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16 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I have to agree. My personal preference is that TWP make it, but if Fev make it, then great and good on them. They will have done a great job in a competitive league against the odds. 

Sometimes we should enjoy the sport for what it is. 

Hope for a cracker on Saturday either way.

Toronto have been wonderful for the last two seasons, they do deserve to go up. There's some good people at the club, who also have a dream.

Me too. It's funny how this has worked out, as i'm on my stag do on Saturday and now this game will make it even more memorable one way or another.

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2008 RFL Wakefield & District Young Volunteer of the Year

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24 minutes ago, DavidM said:

Agreed . We put the onus back on the pitch - where it should be , and then we go into deep n meaningful mode wondering why we‚Äôre doing ¬†that if the ‚Äė wrong ‚Äė team wins ! ¬†If Fev win they‚Äôve earned it through performance and earned their shot like any side in any sport . That‚Äôs what we introduced so that‚Äôs it . They don‚Äôt need to ‚Äė bring ‚Äėanything other than their right to compete which they‚Äôve won through performance as per the rules !

I don't think there has been any of that, certainly not in this thread. I do wonder if dual reg is compatible with promotion and relegation though.

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I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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22 minutes ago, Chris Taylor said:

Toronto have been wonderful for the last two seasons, they do deserve to go up. There's some good people at the club, who also have a dream.

Me too. It's funny how this has worked out, as i'm on my stag do on Saturday and now this game will make it even more memorable one way or another.

Where‚Äôs your stag do? Good luck with it anyway ūüėÉ

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1. PLAYERS  

we've  got 15 signed on at the minute  a lot of them are young lads who I would have thought would like a crack  plus three aussies who yet to decide on their futures  plus we have 4 on  DR  from leeds who are nowhere near a leeds first team place so would think they would sign

2. DUAL REG

no duel re if promoted as for loans only first 28 days binding after that it's like a ferry roll on roll off player can be taken back to parent club at short notice only stipulation if they sign a loan deal for FEV can't be loaned to anyone else during loan period 

3. CROWDS 

yes FEV's crowds are just over 2000 but you got to think if you get over 200 away fans  then your lucky would assume SL would bring more and before FEV were omitted to let in london and PSG  crowds were similar to c#s and better than wakey and when @s got relegated over 7000 came to  FEV  to watch furthermore a lot of people including mates of mine walked away after supprting FEV  home and away for years only coming back to the c#s league and cup games  and who have said if FEV go up they will be getting season tickets

4. LONG TERM VISION 

academy  back in the day although it had won the league FEV were told  by RFL to disband academy and U16 scholarship to allow players to join SL clubs similarly just been told by the RFL to disband  reserves to allow players to join SL clubs so if promoted any ones guess

sponsors FEV have over 40 sponsors who I  assume would increase payment  and probably get new sponsors on back of promotion

 Community Engagement FEV have run a foundation for years  which has won numerous awards 

to grow the¬†business FEV¬†own their own ground and that makes them money plus plans to develop land they own and a local business think tank say's when up and running could bring in¬† ¬†¬†over 70 grand a month but that's not for now it will be 2 to 3 years till it starts so will have to make do with the 2 million sky moneyūü§£

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The gulf in what you need to do is massive.

Players dont want to sign for a club likely to be relegated, why would they, it offers no stability. Recruitment will be really tough 

Part-time players might be able to push the pro ones in a one off. But backing up two, three, four matches on the bounce is physically tough. Just getting on the field most weeks will be a massive challenge, putting in a decent performance most weeks really tough.

There is a limit on loans and loans from one squad in the same league. And rightly so. It would damage the integrity of the league to have 5/6 leeds players playing for fev in SL.  

In football clubs go up to the PL, spend some and hope to cling on but make millions more that year and still get nigh on a hundred million if they are relegated. In RL the SC is about 1.6m and another 500k parachute payment. Theres no real scope to save for the drop back down. 

Fev could be a real valuable community club. Two bigger clubs with more private backing have not been able to drop back down in Leigh and widnes in the past few years and we are 1 year removed from fev not being able to finish the season  with begging for players because of a much smaller drop in revenue than they would suffer going from SL back to the championship

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29 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

The gulf in what you need to do is massive.

Players dont want to sign for a club likely to be relegated, why would they, it offers no stability. Recruitment will be really tough 

Part-time players might be able to push the pro ones in a one off. But backing up two, three, four matches on the bounce is physically tough. Just getting on the field most weeks will be a massive challenge, putting in a decent performance most weeks really tough.

There is a limit on loans and loans from one squad in the same league. And rightly so. It would damage the integrity of the league to have 5/6 leeds players playing for fev in SL.  

In football clubs go up to the PL, spend some and hope to cling on but make millions more that year and still get nigh on a hundred million if they are relegated. In RL the SC is about 1.6m and another 500k parachute payment. Theres no real scope to save for the drop back down. 

Fev could be a real valuable community club. Two bigger clubs with more private backing have not been able to drop back down in Leigh and widnes in the past few years and we are 1 year removed from fev not being able to finish the season  with begging for players because of a much smaller drop in revenue than they would suffer going from SL back to the championship

I will put you down as a 'NO' then shall I?

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Some good replies so far.

Re: Signing players, I think there are a couple of issues that would make it more tricky than what has been suggested

1. The lateness of knowing which division you're in - this has always been the problem with promotion and relegation. The only players generally available for the promoted team are the players from the relegated team! In this case, you don't really even have that because London's best players (Abdul, Walker etc) have already been snapped up. So, you are left with signing players that nobody really wants. The same will apply to Toronto to an extent - albeit they have the cash to splash to leverage better players from the NRL.

2. Yes, agents will indeed be making a beeline to you. Ask Derek Beaumont about that! He ended up having to take players on 2-year deals (of course the agents made sure it was a 2-year deal) which left Leigh in a right old mess when they got relegated, and couldn't afford the salaries on Championship money the following season. I sincerely hope Longo has more sense than to sign journeymen mercenaries!

3. The reason that London haven't got caught in the trap that Leigh did (above) is that they were already full-time pro BEFORE they went up, plus they were producing their own players through their Academy, several whom have come through into their team this season. That's a problem that it won't be easy for Featherstone to mitigate in the short-term. They won't be able to produce their own players quickly enough even if they start an Academy next Monday morning!

 

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What is the game plan for the coaching situation if Featherstone are promoted?

Will their current head coach choose to stay? How will James Webster,( or whoever takes over ) compatible with the remaining/signed on Featherstone players?

There is still a decision to be made by Super League clubs/Elstone as to who,or what,the make up will be with Super League clubs next year.

I get a rough idea once the fixtures come out...


     Born - didn't ask. Dying - didn't argue                                 

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I do think recruitment is going to be the major (indeed really the only) issue here. 

One assumes SL won't accept part timers in the League. This fundamentally makes Fev different to London who were FT prior to their promotion and will be after their relegation. I hope they can sort it out but Scotchy does make a significant point that they face a problematic scenario where they have to choose whether they offer multi-year contracts.

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Re Players: There is quiet speculation that the Wolfpack have 6 or 7 SL-calibre players ready to join them if they are promoted (contracts conditional on winning the Grand Final). I'd guess Fev would have a chance to sign those guys if they are able to pull off an upset.

I'm hoping for a TWP victory of course, but if Fev win fair and square they deserve every opportunity to succeed in SL.

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The plan is their problem if they win.  

Win on the field, get promoted.  Atleast I hope that is the case for both teams

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