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Right then, on to 2020!

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I’m hearing Carr is definitely going to Leeds as Agars assistant and Fev to announce James Webster as head coach. Also a couple of Hull KR players coming with him 

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7 hours ago, POR said:

we've had a great season  and long may it continue but the ideal scenarios would be for FEV  to get  promotion at the end of 21 season  be in super greed when new tv deal arrives   get some guaranteed money because  lot's  of talk championship clubs getting nowt

There’s expansion for you!


I demand to have some booze, I want it here and I want it now!

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20 hours ago, The Judge said:

I’m hearing Carr is definitely going to Leeds as Agars assistant and Fev to announce James Webster as head coach. Also a couple of Hull KR players coming with him 

Shaun Lunt maybe?


I'm sure I'll think of something funny to say soon.

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If Carr is going, I hope that we keep most of the remaining coaching staff. Carr himself paid tribute last night to the work done by Paul March & Greg Stebbings in getting the squad match-ready before he arrived, and given this seems a particularly close-knit and happy group of players, many of whom are being retained, it would be nice to see some continuity in the playing staff (again this is assuming Carr is leaving which most people seem to think is the case).

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12 minutes ago, Cumbria RL said:

Anyword on the Boas brothers are they good/bad ??

Ase was a disappointment and apart from a few good touches here and there struggled, as he had apparently done at PNG Hunters in the previous season and has done again since his return. He was released from us after just a few games due to "a sudden change in family circumstances" but frankly he hadn't been playing well enough to cement his place in the team and we moved into the loan market to replace him.

Watson did ok for us but he's more of a runner rather than a creative half back. He's capable of scoring long-range tries and he's a likeable player who shows plenty of enthusiasm but he wasn't getting into our team either by Easter and was moved to Doncaster. He scored some spectacular tries for them and from what I've heard went ok at League 1 level but I think it's fair to say neither Boas played anywhere near the level they seemed to show in the 2017 World Cup or against the England Knights in 2018 (behind big PNG packs both times). I think League 1 or lower Championship is their level on recent form.

If they're off to Whitehaven, presumably they will be linking up with Jesse Joe & Dion and that might help them.

Just don't hope you aren't enquiring about Teteh too...

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Looking ahead, I think the Championship might be a bit weaker next year, though it's still early days in the recruitment for most teams. Some very early thoughts...

Obviously Toronto are gone, which has a major impact. London are well coached and very likely to be very competitive, but they have lost or are rumoured to be losing a few of their better players, and whilst I'd still see them as very likely top 4 candidates, and maybe challenging for top 2, they will be nothing like Toronto.

Toulouse are pretty certain to be good again and up there challenging for top 2 though they seem to be inconsistent for no obvious reason.

York look to be signing very well and they must have a good chance of at least backing up what they have achieved this season. They did manage to win an awful lot of close games this year and whilst that points to their resilience, I think they will need to be a better team overall to finish top 3 or 4 again. Their pack definitely looks stronger though.

Leigh are hard to assess as they haven't really announced much about their squad for next year yet, there are rumours Beaumont might be set to splash the cash again but to me they seem to do better when he keeps away from his spending sprees. They certainly looked a better team when they played 3 or 4 fringe players from St Helens than with all the hired guns that came into their team towards the end of the season.

Halifax flopped massively this season when everything looked in place for a big year from them. They have had a mini-clearout for the first time in years but I'm not convinced the signings they have announced so far are going to take them back to being one of the leading Championship sides.

Bradford remain a basket case of an organisation with all sorts of stories flying around. I thought their squad was more about quantity than quality this year, we'll have to see what this proposed takeover brings but with the special measures continuing it sounds like keeping hold of some of their better players might be a challenge right now let alone recruiting new ones.

Sheffield had their best year for a while but need to take another step forward if they are to be top 5 candidates.

Swinton had a great year but sadly it's all gone pear-shaped for them following the Manchester name-change controversy. It remains to be seen how they emerge from the current crisis but it's hard to see them being as competitive as they were this year as things stand right now.

Batley and Dewsbury have both seemed a notch or two below where they were a few seasons ago lately. Batley have moved on from Diskin and Greenwood hasn't been at Dewsbury that long so both could improve, but when you look at their squads, at this stage anyway, you'd have to say they will be doing well not to be in the lower half of the table again.

Widnes started last season on fire, thumping Fax and Toulouse (in France), and even after the administration and points deduction had been announced they still hammered us at their place, and only Toronto beat them int heir first 7 league matches . But although they only lost two or three players following their financial crisis, their performances went downhill after that, and when you look at the team that lost 62-0 at Bradford something must have gone badly wrong because they had players like Craven, Gelling, Hansen, Owens, Johnstone etc. They've since lost their coach and although they should have enough quality to avoid a relegation battle it's hard to see them being one of the better teams in 2020.

Whitehaven and Oldham have been promoted, not seen enough of them to make any predictions but you'd think both teams will be pleased if they can consolidate their position in the Championship.

So as for us...we look set to lose a fair few important players but retain the nucleus of a very good squad as things stand and it sounds like we will again have some Leeds DR players available. Obviously a potential coaching change leaves question marks but we look well positioned for another big year.

 

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Leigh's much-hyped "there will be fireworks" November 5th signings and re-signings have been announced to a somewhat underwhelmed RL world...nearly all the new signings (bar Ben Hellewell, who though a decent player is hardly a big name) were well documented in the press several weeks ago.

That said, they have the makings of a solid team and should be top 5 contenders, but having lost their best forward they probably need more signings if they are to have top 2 ambitions. Not sure if they are doing DR with Saints again or not, and of course there could be more high-profile signings to come with quite a few good players still to confirm where they are going.

The other team amongst the likely leading contenders that look to have had questionable recruitment so far is London, they have signed two very good back rowers in Curran and Walters (if he's fit), but they've lost Luke Yates, Jordan Abdull, Matty Gee, Jay Pitts, Alex Walker, Rhys Williams, Ben Hellewell, Nathan Mason, Elliot Kear, maybe Mark Ioane and James Cunningham too, that's a lot of their better players I'd say. The Championship is up for grabs this year.

Edited by The Phantom Horseman
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On ‎11‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 12:12, The Phantom Horseman said:

Looking ahead, I think the Championship might be a bit weaker next year, though it's still early days in the recruitment for most teams. Some very early thoughts...

Obviously Toronto are gone, which has a major impact. London are well coached and very likely to be very competitive, but they have lost or are rumoured to be losing a few of their better players, and whilst I'd still see them as very likely top 4 candidates, and maybe challenging for top 2, they will be nothing like Toronto.

Toulouse are pretty certain to be good again and up there challenging for top 2 though they seem to be inconsistent for no obvious reason.

York look to be signing very well and they must have a good chance of at least backing up what they have achieved this season. They did manage to win an awful lot of close games this year and whilst that points to their resilience, I think they will need to be a better team overall to finish top 3 or 4 again. Their pack definitely looks stronger though.

Leigh are hard to assess as they haven't really announced much about their squad for next year yet, there are rumours Beaumont might be set to splash the cash again but to me they seem to do better when he keeps away from his spending sprees. They certainly looked a better team when they played 3 or 4 fringe players from St Helens than with all the hired guns that came into their team towards the end of the season.

Halifax flopped massively this season when everything looked in place for a big year from them. They have had a mini-clearout for the first time in years but I'm not convinced the signings they have announced so far are going to take them back to being one of the leading Championship sides.

Bradford remain a basket case of an organisation with all sorts of stories flying around. I thought their squad was more about quantity than quality this year, we'll have to see what this proposed takeover brings but with the special measures continuing it sounds like keeping hold of some of their better players might be a challenge right now let alone recruiting new ones.

Sheffield had their best year for a while but need to take another step forward if they are to be top 5 candidates.

Swinton had a great year but sadly it's all gone pear-shaped for them following the Manchester name-change controversy. It remains to be seen how they emerge from the current crisis but it's hard to see them being as competitive as they were this year as things stand right now.

Batley and Dewsbury have both seemed a notch or two below where they were a few seasons ago lately. Batley have moved on from Diskin and Greenwood hasn't been at Dewsbury that long so both could improve, but when you look at their squads, at this stage anyway, you'd have to say they will be doing well not to be in the lower half of the table again.

Widnes started last season on fire, thumping Fax and Toulouse (in France), and even after the administration and points deduction had been announced they still hammered us at their place, and only Toronto beat them int heir first 7 league matches . But although they only lost two or three players following their financial crisis, their performances went downhill after that, and when you look at the team that lost 62-0 at Bradford something must have gone badly wrong because they had players like Craven, Gelling, Hansen, Owens, Johnstone etc. They've since lost their coach and although they should have enough quality to avoid a relegation battle it's hard to see them being one of the better teams in 2020.

Whitehaven and Oldham have been promoted, not seen enough of them to make any predictions but you'd think both teams will be pleased if they can consolidate their position in the Championship.

So as for us...we look set to lose a fair few important players but retain the nucleus of a very good squad as things stand and it sounds like we will again have some Leeds DR players available. Obviously a potential coaching change leaves question marks but we look well positioned for another big year.

 

Seems like a pretty fair assessment to me - can't wait for the new season and I do hope Swinton survive what will now be a difficult season, good luck to all the teams really

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Sheffield have signed Frankie Mariano accoridng to League Express. That means the front 5 in their pack next year could have a familiar look...Scott Wheeldon, Robbie Ward, Matty James, Brad Knowles, and Mariano, shame Shaun Pick has left them or they could have fielded an entire ex-Fev starting pack.

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