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Tex Evans Thigh

Toronto Academy/Reserves

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A lot of talk about Toronto's squad depth and the lack of an academy and reserves.

Are these two avenues an option? Are there any plans in the pipeline?

I would assume that they could have a UK based academy and/or reserve team playing in the SL structure. This would certainly alleviate their squad depth problem and would strengthen them as a viable organization.

If the plan is to bring through North American players eventually then it could be a good natural step for them rather than being plunged straight into the first team with little chance of success. 

Bit of fag packet strategising but I would think that a set-up along the lines of the below could be achievable and really set them up for success.

  • Set-up and manage junior league in Toronto and surrounding areas up to u18s
  • Wider scouting network across NA e.g. USARL/Union
  • Have UK based academy, perhaps in an area of untapped or neglected potential (London/SE, Midlands?) and start signing good UK juniors.
  • Good players from NA system can progress to UK academy team
  • Reserves acts as normal reserves with a mix of squad players and academy graduates plus any trialists from the NA scouting system.
  • Maintain link with London Skolars for dual reg first grade experience. could also link nicely with a London based academy team.

Normally the issue to doing something like this would be money but that obviously isn't a problem. They could conceivably have a world class production system in place in a few years with the right investment, increasing the player pool for RL too.

Any chance of something like this happening? Maybe the impending squad size troubles will help get something like this moving.

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Formerly Alistair Boyd-Meaney

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10 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Still waiting to see Toronto’s plans for youth development.

Bound to take some time what with being UK-based club ‘n’ all.

2nd post in,let the usual games begin.....salary cap,blah blah blah,no academy,pretend crowds,sl17 hate based drivel,if I missed anything,don't tell me,I'm sure someone can fill in the blanks.

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1 minute ago, JDINTHEHIZZOUSE said:

2nd post in,let the usual games begin.....salary cap,blah blah blah,no academy,pretend crowds,sl17 hate based drivel,if I missed anything,don't tell me,I'm sure someone can fill in the blanks.

Perhaps it’s just a case of some people are beginning see what was clear to those who had thought it through? 

Toronto are at an obvious disadvantage with other Super League clubs, so you’d have thought they have plans to develop yoof and/or a reserve grade.

Yes, it takes time for plans to bear fruit but have you seen any plans? Genuine question.

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7 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Yes, it takes time for plans to bear fruit but have you seen any plans? Genuine question.

I know you're not replying to me but that was kind of the gist of the thread. What plans are in place, if any, and how could they be improved and implemented?


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34 minutes ago, Tex Evans Thigh said:

I know you're not replying to me but that was kind of the gist of the thread. What plans are in place, if any, and how could they be improved and implemented?

Haven’t see any but it must be remembered t’Wolfpack is essentially a Northern club with UK-based staff (that plays some home games in Canada).

Once you look at them from that point of view, you see what an even tougher ask it is to develop yoof in Toronto. Recent interviews suggest they may not even bother.

As they train in Rochdale, maybe they’d be better off getting into bed with the Hornets in terms of reserves and youth development?

Edited by Man of Kent

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35 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Haven’t see any but it must be remembered t’Wolfpack is essentially a Northern club with UK-based staff (that plays some home games in Canada).

Once you look at them from that point of view, you see what an even tougher ask it is to develop yoof in Toronto. Recent interviews suggest they may not even bother.

As they train in Rochdale, maybe they’d be better off getting into bed with the Hornets in terms of reserves and youth development?

They’re not a Northern club. They’re not owned by someone from the UK, their fans aren’t from the UK, their home ground isn’t in the UK and a lot of their players aren’t from the UK. They train here because it’s sensible and the weather conditions in Toronto are prohibitive, I’m sure they’d prefer to train in Toronto if possible. 

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8 minutes ago, Eddie said:

They’re not a Northern club. They’re not owned by someone from the UK, their fans aren’t from the UK, their home ground isn’t in the UK and a lot of their players aren’t from the UK. They train here because it’s sensible and the weather conditions in Toronto are prohibitive, I’m sure they’d prefer to train in Toronto if possibleThe core staff lives and works in the North of England.

I hear what you say but from a rugby POV they are a Northern club, hence my suggestion of forming a partnership with Rochdale.

Do they actually have any staff in Toronto on the rugby side (ie not commercial). Certainly no players or coaches live there. Again, genuine question.

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Problem with starting a new club from the top down In a new area is it will take time to develop players. Tag rugby and nines are good ways to introduce playing rugby to new people, to actually give them a taste and feel for playing the game

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We clearly must be all things to all people and that had better have been done yesterday.

We are a new club...get over it.

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53 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

I hear what you say but from a rugby POV they are a Northern club, hence my suggestion of forming a partnership with Rochdale.

Do they actually have any staff in Toronto on the rugby side (ie not commercial). Certainly no players or coaches live there. Again, genuine question.

I explained why above, and you knew it anyway. 

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

They’re not a Northern club. They’re not owned by someone from the UK, their fans aren’t from the UK, their home ground isn’t in the UK and a lot of their players aren’t from the UK. They train here because it’s sensible and the weather conditions in Toronto are prohibitive, I’m sure they’d prefer to train in Toronto if possible. 

And I am sure it would be possible to train in Toronto, or near it if they wished to, training on a grass surface under an open sky is not mandatory. A little thought, some money, and the will to train in their home country should be able to provide a solution. 

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16 minutes ago, Kayakman said:

We clearly must be all things to all people and that had better have been done yesterday.

We are a new club...get over it.

Exactly, every other club has been around for 100, 50 or 25 years ect. How long has it taken London to produce home grow talent? Same goes for Melbourne. Once you expose people to the game then it will catch on and grow. More people will watch it and want to play it leading to more amateur clubs being set up 

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6 minutes ago, Hemi4561 said:

And I am sure it would be possible to train in Toronto, or near it if they wished to, training on a grass surface under an open sky is not mandatory. A little thought, some money, and the will to train in their home country should be able to provide a solution. 

You think a professional rugby league team can do all their training in a sports hall?

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6 minutes ago, Mr Plow said:

Exactly, every other club has been around for 100, 50 or 25 years ect. How long has it taken London to produce home grow talent? Same goes for Melbourne. Once you expose people to the game then it will catch on and grow. More people will watch it and want to play it leading to more amateur clubs being set up 

Top down approach, a perfectly valid way to do things. I’m sure Toronto would love to start with 13 Canadians too but where would they get them from, it will take 20 years. 

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9 minutes ago, NOS4A2 said:

Indeed you are K-man.

Other expansion sides have been cut slack in the past. Catalans were safe from the drop for all but one year between 2005 and 2014, London Broncos fielded extra foreign trained players up to 2006 (IIRC) and then had the RFL pay their new Landlord £100,000 in 2014 to spend on marketing (and to ensure the fixtures were met). Celtic Crusaders were also cut slack in various departments, so it is only right that the RFL should give you the same help......except that is that they can't. 


After 20 years of RFL management and mis-managent of SL, the chairmen/owners of the club decided to wrest control to themselves and it would appear that this lot "don't do noting for nobody for nothing", so you might have to cough up some more of Argyles readies if you want any favours doing.

Of course it is ridiculous to expect an infant club such as yours to run juniors, academies and reserves, in the same way it is insane to expect North American players...except that was what was promised by Perez and as my namesake was famed for once saying

“Remember my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker”

 but alas, this is Rugby League and the memories are strong here, no matter how logical and knowledgeable the other side of the debate.

I will say that with a little bit of forward thinking, a Reserve grade side could have been assembled quite cheaply and based full time in England, but I can see that Argyle feels that if he has to have a reserve grade then he should also get the SKY cash, even though he'd only be able to spend it on other things, as he's already at the cap.

What would be the point of Toronto having a reserve grade team who never play or even go to Canada?

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7 minutes ago, Hemi4561 said:

And I am sure it would be possible to train in Toronto, or near it if they wished to, training on a grass surface under an open sky is not mandatory. A little thought, some money, and the will to train in their home country should be able to provide a solution. 

It isn't just that simple though either , the UK players families are in the UK , their kids are at school in the UK , similarily as far as I know the SH players families are in the UK , 

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1 minute ago, Eddie said:

You think a professional rugby league team can do all their training in a sports hall?

Who said a sports hall? 

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2 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Top down approach, a perfectly valid way to do things. I’m sure Toronto would love to start with 13 Canadians too but where would they get them from, it will take 20 years. 

Try 40/50/60 

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11 minutes ago, Hemi4561 said:

Who said a sports hall? 

Where would they do it then, in Toronto?

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1 minute ago, GUBRATS said:

It isn't just that simple though either , the UK players families are in the UK , their kids are at school in the UK , similarily as far as I know the SH players families are in the UK , 

Why not? Ex-pats worked in the middle East leaving their families at home, oil workers on the rigs don't go home to their families every day, members of the Armed Forces are posted all over the place without their wives and kids. Contractors in this country may work away from Monday morning to Friday evening. 

Those players who have signed for Toronto had the choice, they could happily stayed where they were. 

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1 minute ago, Eddie said:

Where would they do it then, in Toronto?

Not my problem, as I said I'm sure it could be done if they wished to. 

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1 minute ago, Hemi4561 said:

Why not? Ex-pats worked in the middle East leaving their families at home, oil workers on the rigs don't go home to their families every day, members of the Armed Forces are posted all over the place without their wives and kids. Contractors in this country may work away from Monday morning to Friday evening. 

Those players who have signed for Toronto had the choice, they could happily stayed where they were. 

Not sure how familiar you are with RL players ? , Never good to have them away from their families for any length of time 

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5 minutes ago, Hemi4561 said:

Not my problem, as I said I'm sure it could be done if they wished to. 

But you have no idea how. 

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Just now, Eddie said:

But you have no idea how. 

He has no answers to the hard questions.

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