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The General 'Toronto Wolfpack' Discussion Thread

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34 minutes ago, Smudger06 said:

Exactly, if you actually want to learn something about the game you come here, certainly not FB & Twitter. 

The Facebook RL groups make the Westboro Baptist Church look progressive.

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7 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

Sourh Wales - tried that numerous times. 

London - a few teams have been established but non have really caught the imagination of the natives just 0,2% of the population would register 18,000 fans, hard it is to say it but for a very few hardy souls and one rich gentleman the game is not wanted at the professional level, can't give the clubs anything but respect for their endeavours though. 

Newcastle - a work in progress ticking all the right boxes up to now, hopefully tgey can keep the momentum going and a closed shop doesn't come along to slam the door of their aspirations, desires and efforts in their face.

East Midlands - couple that with the other clubs and call it the Midlands Rugby League last count I knew there were 12 teams involved, and they have the "Pro team" in Coventry Bears, your plan is?

Edingburgh - Interesting, why? Perhap's Dave T can tell us how the Eagles are perceived up that way.

South Wales - Yes it has been tried but IIRC both Cardiff Dragons (and their subsequent guises) and Celtic Crusaders were not part of any strategic attempt by the RL (please let’s ignore the 1930’s). Those teams came about when investors approached the RL and the RL gave them the thumbs up.  If after the interest raised by the performance of Wales in the 1995 World Cup had been backed by a long term Strategic Plan with funding ring fenced from the newly created Super League windfall in 1996 then RL may now be thriving there.

London - has there ever been a concerted attempt by RL to put long term financial and physical resources into developing the game in London?  Putting in Development Officers and then pulling them out cannot be termed a strategic plan.

Newcastle - great to the see the game continuing to grow.  But is this growth in spite of a lack of support from the RFL; what happens if Mick Hogan walks away?  Is there a strategic plan for this area? How can the RFL assist in ensuring the growth continues?

I am not too familiar with the game in the East Midlands but if there are 12 teams in the area is the RFL showing some form of leadership with a coordinated plan that all clubs feel part of, or is the league left to develop itself on the back of volunteers?

You have Identified 4 areas - I have no idea about Edinburgh - where IMHO strategic plans should be developed in conjunction with local teams and funds ring fenced to protect development.  We are not talking about vast sums of money as in each area we already have some ‘infrastructure’ but we need to understand what the needs are for each area to develop in a managed way.

 

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7 minutes ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

South Wales - Yes it has been tried but IIRC both Cardiff Dragons (and their subsequent guises) and Celtic Crusaders were not part of any strategic attempt by the RL (please let’s ignore the 1930’s). Those teams came about when investors approached the RL and the RL gave them the thumbs up.  If after the interest raised by the performance of Wales in the 1995 World Cup had been backed by a long term Strategic Plan with funding ring fenced from the newly created Super League windfall in 1996 then RL may now be thriving there.

London - has there ever been a concerted attempt by RL to put long term financial and physical resources into developing the game in London?  Putting in Development Officers and then pulling them out cannot be termed a strategic plan.

Newcastle - great to the see the game continuing to grow.  But is this growth in spite of a lack of support from the RFL; what happens if Mick Hogan walks away?  Is there a strategic plan for this area? How can the RFL assist in ensuring the growth continues?

I am not too familiar with the game in the East Midlands but if there are 12 teams in the area is the RFL showing some form of leadership with a coordinated plan that all clubs feel part of, or is the league left to develop itself on the back of volunteers?

You have Identified 4 areas - I have no idea about Edinburgh - where IMHO strategic plans should be developed in conjunction with local teams and funds ring fenced to protect development.  We are not talking about vast sums of money as in each area we already have some ‘infrastructure’ but we need to understand what the needs are for each area to develop in a managed way.

 

I think Scotland failed. They did have a youth  setup. I do think we need a thread on “Diversity”
 

Rather than people using past experiences that failed. You can build on failure, but your diversity needs to change.

Quite simply if the game isn’t in a  school’s curriculum they will never play it.

That means the community game is lost or continues on with the generations who have been there.

Personally for people to now be asking on grassroots when SL evolved made people richer but killed the structure and the pathways.

The lower tiers are now left with not only trying to protect their clubs but also protecting the product, SL.

Who needs to get their house in order?

 

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1 hour ago, SL17 said:

I think Scotland failed. They did have a youth  setup. I do think we need a thread on “Diversity”
 

Rather than people using past experiences that failed. You can build on failure, but your diversity needs to change.

Quite simply if the game isn’t in a  school’s curriculum they will never play it.

That means the community game is lost or continues on with the generations who have been there.

Personally for people to now be asking on grassroots when SL evolved made people richer but killed the structure and the pathways.

The lower tiers are now left with not only trying to protect their clubs but also protecting the product, SL.

Who needs to get their house in order?

 

My answer to your question is the RFL especially when linked to the paragraph above about your perceived role of the lower tiers.

You could use the analogy of a shop.  The SL is the shop window dressing that displays its wares to its existing base of customers and potentially attracts new customers through it’s product via tv/social media.

Therefore the RFL is akin to the unseen people that work behind the scenes.  These people have a critical role in taking advantage of the visibility of the SL product to create connections and strategies to strengthen the tiers below SL and to assist growth at any level beneath SL whenever the opportunity arises.

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6 hours ago, SL17 said:

I think Scotland failed. They did have a youth  setup. I do think we need a thread on “Diversity”
 

Rather than people using past experiences that failed. You can build on failure, but your diversity needs to change.

Quite simply if the game isn’t in a  school’s curriculum they will never play it.

 

I think it is easy to dismiss the likes of Scotland as failed, when personally I'd put it in the 'not properly tried' category. A bit like most places. 

It is no coincidence that we get more activity when we put in more effort. Both Scotland and Wales used to get more attention in the first 10 to 15 years of SL, and you had more interest.

In Scotland you actually had a handful of teams pop up and start playing. This was on the back of some actual activity, Magic Weekends and Cup Finals were played here, the 2000 WC featured Scotland for the first time and we played a small number of on the road games up here. The RFL also invested around £100k per year iirc. It was before my time living up here so I can't claim to be an expert on the Scottish scene, but on a black and white level we can see that since investment and effort stopped, we have seen a real reduction in footprint. 

I agree on schools and would extend it to colleges and universities. Scotland now has a couple of development officers and there is more activity in schools which is a positive sign, but if it was one of the 'targeted areas' that the UK game had gone for, then we could stage roadshow games, maybe double headers where the teams base in the area for the week and get into schools etc. That goes for any city. 

Effort, funding and a plan is the only way things will change, just hoping volunteers will pop up and sort things will not work. 

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According to nrl.com, Toronto Wolfpack are still looking for SBW's return and fulfilling contract obligations. 

It may be a statement of intent, or a carrot from the potential new order, but maybe there'll be another twist to this story.

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13 minutes ago, Manxmanc said:

According to nrl.com, Toronto Wolfpack are still looking for SBW's return and fulfilling contract obligations. 

It may be a statement of intent, or a carrot from the potential new order, but maybe there'll be another twist to this story.

This quote from that article made me laugh

Williams recently revealed that Kikau was one of his favourite players to watch but the Fijian played down comparisons with the former All Blacks and Kiwis star.

 

"For me personally I am nowhere near Sonny Bill," he said. "First of all, I don’t have a rig like Sonny Bill, he has got the best rig in the league. I have got a one-pack and he has got an eight-pack.

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11 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Effort, funding and a plan is the only way things will change, just hoping volunteers will pop up and sort things will not work. 

David, that is exactly what the main function for success is in the Heartlands, we don't  have to go to Scotland, South Wales, East Midlands, Newcastle or overseas to observe it.

The RFL and clubs are not simply doing enough in the place we can gain the most success, right here in the heartlands. 

Using a buisness and sales analogy again, a long time ago someone once said to me if you have potential clients in your locality who have not been approched and you have endeavoured to convert to being custoners why travel further afield? Brought right down to basics for an example he used a newspaper vendor, behind every door in every street in the locality is a potential customer he can deliver to, some vendor's think they are successful if they have to travel a couple of miles to deliver without exhausting the possibilities ot the locality.

In Rugby League terms and getting more participants to play the game I think this is a great example, on our doorstep we have people who are Au Fait with the sport, BUT collectively the governing body and pro clubs are just paying lip service in promoting the sport, just with the introduction of development officials it showed what could be done in a relatively 'virgin area' like London, but here in the heartlands it is as you say "just hoping volunteers will pop up and sort things". 

When I used the phrase "get our own house in order first" this is exactly what I meant, by all means we need to widen the footprint of the sport, but if we were stronger here in the heartlands through all the levels it would be so much easier to branch out, Tommygilf for example considers we should be making concerted efforts to widen our reach, but if we employ Proper Planning and Preperation and do it and learn from it right here in the heartlands were we are strongest and it works we may just may Prevent the #### Poor Performance we have expierenced in our multiple failed 'Expansion' endeavours that have been tried previously.

 

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22 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

David, that is exactly what the main function for success is in the Heartlands, we don't  have to go to Scotland, South Wales, East Midlands, Newcastle or overseas to observe it.

The RFL and clubs are not simply doing enough in the place we can gain the most success, right here in the heartlands. 

Using a buisness and sales analogy again, a long time ago someone once said to me if you have potential clients in your locality who have not been approched and you have endeavoured to convert to being custoners why travel further afield? Brought right down to basics for an example he used a newspaper vendor, behind every door in every street in the locality is a potential customer he can deliver to, some vendor's think they are successful if they have to travel a couple of miles to deliver without exhausting the possibilities ot the locality.

In Rugby League terms and getting more participants to play the game I think this is a great example, on our doorstep we have people who are Au Fait with the sport, BUT collectively the governing body and pro clubs are just paying lip service in promoting the sport, just with the introduction of development officials it showed what could be done in a relatively 'virgin area' like London, but here in the heartlands it is as you say "just hoping volunteers will pop up and sort things". 

When I used the phrase "get our own house in order first" this is exactly what I meant, by all means we need to widen the footprint of the sport, but if we were stronger here in the heartlands through all the levels it would be so much easier to branch out, Tommygilf for example considers we should be making concerted efforts to widen our reach, but if we employ Proper Planning and Preperation and do it and learn from it right here in the heartlands were we are strongest and it works we may just may Prevent the #### Poor Performance we have expierenced in our multiple failed 'Expansion' endeavours that have been tried previously.

 

I disagree with parts of this Harry, but not the principle that the heartlands remain the main focus. In the heartlands we have around 25 to 30 clubs who are working as 'development officers' - the majority of central funding and things like Sky Try go to the existing areas - the vast majority of games are played in existing areas, semi finals, finals, internationals, the World Cup - all of these things are development tools to grow the game. Volunteers are always going to be a part of this, but RL in the existing areas sees millions and millions spent on development and activity that can stimulate growth. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but it must be 90%+ of all central funding goes to existing areas.

But I don't think that should prevent us moving further afield. And I am not talking about trying to establish SL teams either - I like the work that has gone on in Newcastle, we need to do even more and keep going, I'd love to see that plan and effort replicated across other major population centres. But we don't need to necessarily worry about getting a millionaire backer who will setup an SL team, success could be seeing the game played in each school, college, university, having a handful of amateur teams, having a base of people interested in the game who will play, watch on Sky, attend major events, maybe cultivate sponsors, potential new investors, but this may all take generations, but that is how you grow, it is a slow burner.

A fixed % of funds being routed into expansion with an expansion board and strategy should be in place imho.

Of course there is growth to be had in established areas, we need to do more. But that is no reason to ignore opportunities for growth elsewhere. I am all for being smart about where that is though, not just throwing money anywhere. And when I say ringfenced funds, I am talking in the ballpark of 5%.

Edited by Dave T
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15 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

Nay Tommy, you are talking about diversifying your product range, if the MD is happy to cease the production of a particular line which still pays it's way not emphatically mind but not costing to much, he had better be 100% certain what he/she is going to replace it with is proven and will work, the shredder at Companies House is full of ticker tapes of buisnesses gone to the wall because of a hunch or trying things without prior, proven and proper research.

If we knew and had the answers readily availble for Rugby League kids would be queuing up at the doors of Eastmoor, Leigh East, Fev Lions, Wath Brow, Walney Island, West Hull et all, sadly we don't, but I cannot reiterate enough that we as a sport need to address the situation before it becomes beyond reach, establishing clubs in area's that will only ever be reliant on others producing player's for them, is in my opinion not an option until we can comfortably assist them in their pursuit of player's.

That's precisely my point Harry. We offer 1 product to relatively few people and rely on even fewer people to supply it. Outside of the towns where RL is the only local show, Leigh, Castleford etc, RL is virtually invisible. That's the same reason why less kids in Greater Manchester are playing as there are few people interested in a team in Coventry. We offer very little for 5 to 18 year olds beyond the game itself - no current video games, cards, stickers, do we advertise our global game? A lot of kids aren't sporty individuals, what do we offer them? On top of that more generally, what do we offer (beyond the game itself obviously) that is unique or top class? 

Toronto, in 3 and a bit years, have garnered more interest from all quarters, the British MSM, Australian and kiwi Rugby figures, their own media et al. than any club, including my own, have since Wigan in the early 90s. Had we seen more of him I'm sure we'd be getting kids wanting to be the next Sonny Bill at Wath Brow, Eastmoor, Wigan St Pats etc. We need to ask ourselves why our own media (both in a British and RL more generally sense) are more interested in this team than our own established clubs, not attack them for it. I don't think the "its shiny and a new fad" is good enough analysis really. Having been to a couple of Toronto games this year, you could tell there was a bit of a buzz about the place. We need to learn how to replicate that for other games with other clubs. 

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8 minutes ago, Dave T said:

And I am not talking about trying to establish SL teams either

I just took that bit Dave because I agree totally with it. I've said on here before if in 25 years time the game has 100s of Hemel stags to Keighley cougars sized clubs throughout the UK that will be a massive achievement.

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14 hours ago, Kayakman said:

Good news Harry!...looks like everything with the Wolfpack will be sorted out shortly and it will all be back on track again.

Thats great news,would love to see you guys finish what you started for sure.get them flags back out.:kolobok_training1:

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1 hour ago, Manxmanc said:

According to nrl.com, Toronto Wolfpack are still looking for SBW's return and fulfilling contract obligations. 

It may be a statement of intent, or a carrot from the potential new order, but maybe there'll be another twist to this story.

Every day the wolf faces a brave new world...life in a Wolfpack is always interesting and dynamic...the Pack must survive!

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3 hours ago, Kayakman said:

Every day the wolf faces a brave new world...life in a Wolfpack is always interesting and dynamic...the Pack must survive!

The wolf has had a rough start to life, but hopefully coming back from the brink will ensure that it becomes stronger and more resilient in the years ahead. 

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7 minutes ago, Omott91 said:

The wolf has had a rough start to life, but hopefully coming back from the brink will ensure that it becomes stronger and more resilient in the years ahead. 

Or maybe the wolf's head will get cut off, like in Little Red Riding Hood.

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3 hours ago, Kayakman said:

Every day the wolf faces a brave new world...life in a Wolfpack is always interesting and dynamic...the Pack must survive!

All the best kayakman, hope things go well for you all.

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2 hours ago, Omott91 said:

The wolf has had a rough start to life, but hopefully coming back from the brink will ensure that it becomes stronger and more resilient in the years ahead. 

Its basic Darwinian science...you know that old guy from England...the few wolves that survive are therefore the fittest and will breed their genetics into the next generation.....we already have the head of Leeds so we all know who is next...WE WANT WIGAN!

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8 hours ago, Dave T said:

I think it is easy to dismiss the likes of Scotland as failed, when personally I'd put it in the 'not properly tried' category. A bit like most places. 

It is no coincidence that we get more activity when we put in more effort. Both Scotland and Wales used to get more attention in the first 10 to 15 years of SL, and you had more interest.

In Scotland you actually had a handful of teams pop up and start playing. This was on the back of some actual activity, Magic Weekends and Cup Finals were played here, the 2000 WC featured Scotland for the first time and we played a small number of on the road games up here. The RFL also invested around £100k per year iirc. It was before my time living up here so I can't claim to be an expert on the Scottish scene, but on a black and white level we can see that since investment and effort stopped, we have seen a real reduction in footprint. 

I agree on schools and would extend it to colleges and universities. Scotland now has a couple of development officers and there is more activity in schools which is a positive sign, but if it was one of the 'targeted areas' that the UK game had gone for, then we could stage roadshow games, maybe double headers where the teams base in the area for the week and get into schools etc. That goes for any city. 

Effort, funding and a plan is the only way things will change, just hoping volunteers will pop up and sort things will not work. 

I did say you can build on failure. But as always it gets swept under the carpet and let’s move on to the next venture.

That is the failure with this sport. They get a line of three money bags on the slot machine and everything else gets binned.

They cannot continue what was started.

Failure.

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14 hours ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

My answer to your question is the RFL especially when linked to the paragraph above about your perceived role of the lower tiers.

You could use the analogy of a shop.  The SL is the shop window dressing that displays its wares to its existing base of customers and potentially attracts new customers through it’s product via tv/social media.

Therefore the RFL is akin to the unseen people that work behind the scenes.  These people have a critical role in taking advantage of the visibility of the SL product to create connections and strategies to strengthen the tiers below SL and to assist growth at any level beneath SL whenever the opportunity arises.

The pot of gold sits with SL not the RFL SL are more than willing to chuck in on a parachute payment but not willing to do the same for a club who is close to distinction.

Lets look after our own mentality needs to spread a little further. As I said the lower tiers have enough on their plates without having to support SL.

If you haven’t got a working capital of £10m you shouldn’t be in SL. Make way and stop using others funds.

Edited by SL17

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29 minutes ago, SL17 said:

I did say you can build on failure. But as always it gets swept under the carpet and let’s move on to the next venture.

That is the failure with this sport. They get a line of three money bags on the slot machine and everything else gets binned.

They cannot continue what was started.

Failure.

Yep, I agree. You can't just have a few years playing around in an area, declare it a failure and then write it off forever. 

These things just need to be ongoing. 

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2 hours ago, Kayakman said:

Its basic Darwinian science...you know that old guy from England...the few wolves that survive are therefore the fittest and will breed their genetics into the next generation.....we already have the head of Leeds so we all know who is next...WE WANT WIGAN!

Most of the breeding will take place in England's Green and Pleasant Land and those which aren't will be Antipodean, not a single genetic Canuck in sight.

Just saying. 

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41 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Most of the breeding will take place in England's Green and Pleasant Land and those which aren't will be Antipodean, not a single genetic Canuck in sight.

Just saying. 

Thats Okay..all wolf fur colours are allowed within 'The Pack'.

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42 minutes ago, Kayakman said:

Thats Okay..all wolf fur colours are allowed within 'The Pack'.

NO PINK! A pink wolf is just... wrong.

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in France when a professional club has to be bought, the new owner must show guarantees and there is an investigation into him and the origin of the funds. Despite this, mafia or fantasy can buy clubs and use them. Argyle's departure may be a chance to start again on a healthier basis. I hope the new owner will not hide and that we will know his true fortune.


www.fcl13.fr FCL XIII - Lezignan Corbieres Rugby League

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