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flyingking

Balkans Super League contraction

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Disappointingly goes down from 15 clubs to 11, no Greek or Albanian teams

Would very much have liked Greek clubs to participate, if only to promote the involvement of their national team in the 2021 RLWC. Does anyone know if this linked to the previous political problems in the country?


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Having listened to the Chasing Kangaroos podcast regularly, who provide decent coverage of the BSL, I think a lot of it is down to finances. It’s not easy for clubs from places like Greece and Albania to travel to places like Serbia and Bulgaria. The fact that have done so far is a massive credit to them though, and puts people who moan about an away game in Cumbria to shame. 

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45 minutes ago, flyingking said:

Disappointingly goes down from 15 clubs to 11, no Greek or Albanian teams

Would very much have liked Greek clubs to participate, if only to promote the involvement of their national team in the 2021 RLWC. Does anyone know if this linked to the previous political problems in the country?

The recent good news from Greece probably means they are concentrating on their own domestic set-up, now that they are actually allowed to play. I'd be surprised if they don't re-enter the BSL when they are ready.

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"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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1 hour ago, Futtocks said:

The recent good news from Greece probably means they are concentrating on their own domestic set-up, now that they are actually allowed to play. I'd be surprised if they don't re-enter the BSL when they are ready.

Yeah definitely this, on twitter they have regular club games between teams in Athens and Rhodes amongst other places. The World Cup players are mainly heritage from NRL with a few true Greeks thrown in to make up the numbers. But very promising from their point of view  

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21 minutes ago, Damien said:

As always the devil is in the detail. If it means stronger domestic competitions and more teams then it's a good thing.

That’s certainly where Turkey and Greece are concentrating.........although hopefully they will return with more participants next year. Albania is a bit of a worry because I don’t think they have a domestic comp to fall back on so has that 1 club now ceased to exist?

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1 hour ago, HarrogateKnights said:

Yeah definitely this, on twitter they have regular club games between teams in Athens and Rhodes amongst other places. The World Cup players are mainly heritage from NRL with a few true Greeks thrown in to make up the numbers. But very promising from their point of view  

They suddenly have the freedom to concentrate on a lot of the groundwork that they just weren't permitted to do before. It'll be interesting to see how they develop without the actions of a corrupt official holding a grudge.

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"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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6 hours ago, DoubleD said:

That’s certainly where Turkey and Greece are concentrating.........although hopefully they will return with more participants next year. Albania is a bit of a worry because I don’t think they have a domestic comp to fall back on so has that 1 club now ceased to exist?

That one Albanian team are seemingly looking at joining the Greek domestic competition: https://mobile.twitter.com/albaniarl?lang=en

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57 minutes ago, Bluebags1973 said:

That one Albanian team are seemingly looking at joining the Greek domestic competition: https://mobile.twitter.com/albaniarl?lang=en

Not a bad idea, until things grow back home. 


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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There are a few factors which have seen Greece and Albania withdraw from the Balkan Super League.

Firstly, when Greece first took part (2018), they only had 4 active clubs and were struggling to build a competitive season for their teams. As such the BSL was a life saver for them and really kick started some major growth with 3 of the 4 clubs taking part.

Last year only one Greek team took part,  Ari's Eagles, with the main reasons being:

- Desire to keep building the local competition

- Significant costs taking part in the tournament

- Issues around ground availabilities and when teams can play (having a team visiting from another country being forced to play a midnight isn't ideal)

Since then, Greece has grown to have now 7 domestic clubs in its Senior league, but also still hasn't resolved all its domestic issues.

Albania has decided that the BSL doesn't give them the regularity of matches they need and thus are putting their focus on joining the Greek 2020/21 domestic season

Anyway whilst on paper it looks like the BSL has shrunk, the reality is, it is doing exactly what it was designed to do, which is grow the code across the region and help establish better foundations in more countries.

It has also seen our tournaments appear off the back of it, like the Balkan 9s and Balkans Championship, which are both expected to operate again this year.

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