Jump to content

Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, Rhondda Outlaws said:

As a club, we only have to cover the costs of our visas, insurance, food and beer.

(My bold and italics)

That’s it, you’re going bankrupt. ?

  • Like 2
  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Copa said:

(My bold and italics)

That’s it, you’re going bankrupt. ?

Not if you are buying your beer in the Czech Republic!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Oldbear said:

Not if you are buying your beer in the Czech Republic!

You say that but in Prague the head you get on pints is so big you may as well just be drinking halfs!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

You say that but in Prague the head you get on pints is so big you may as well just be drinking halfs!

Same in Holland, plus they waste about two pints when they’re pouring one. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Rhondda Outlaws said:

Hi everyone,

I'm Steve Bartlett, the General Manager of Rhondda Outlaws.  I've been following this thread for a while and I think its great to see healthy debate about something as new and exciting as Euro XIIIs.

I've decided to jump on now to offer myself up to answer questions because I can see there is some confusion around the competition and the motivation of clubs joining and I've also noticed some incorrect things being repeated and I don't want rumours to become 'the truth'.

So, ask me anything.  If I can answer I will.  Some things are commercially sensitive (either for the Euro XIIIs organisers or the Rhondda Outlaws) and some things aren't know to us yet so if your question falls in to that category, I'll let you know but other than that, I will try to be as open as possible.

Thanks for offering to do this Steve. 
 

If you don’t mind me asking, why did Rhondda Outlaws decide to enter this comp? Was it just for the excitement of being involved or do you see it as a stepping stone for bigger things than your current division? Also are many of your players cross code or do some/most of them focus on League? Thanks. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Thanks for offering to do this Steve. 
 

If you don’t mind me asking, why did Rhondda Outlaws decide to enter this comp? Was it just for the excitement of being involved or do you see it as a stepping stone for bigger things than your current division? Also are many of your players cross code or do some/most of them focus on League? Thanks. 

Hi Eddie,

To understand our reasons for joining this comp, we have to go back to 2017 when we established our open-age mens' team.  We started out with a group of men and about 90% of them had never watched a game of Rugby League before let alone played one.  So that first year was all about teaching the boys the game.  Then as we went in to 2018 we still had the same core players and they had a season under their belts so we were able to focus more on the technical aspects like attacking structure, tackle technique, etc.  All the time the players were developing and improving and this ultimately led to us going the whole of 2019 almost undefeated (we lost away to Bridgend in the final round of the regular season) and were crowned Welsh Champions.

Then in January this year we entered the Challenge Cup for the very first time.  We shipped 15 tries against Barrow Island and it highlighted to us how much more we needed to do if we want to compete with the well established clubs in the heartlands.  But the big challenge is that we don't get many games in the Welsh Premier so we are playing the same teams constantly and we only have a few months over the middle of summer.  We have seen from when our players go off to represent Wales in the Welsh Dragonhearts campaigns at the end of the season that they come back much better players for the extra experience and game time.  

When we first heard about the Euro XIIIs it seemed like a great opportunity to get the additional game time and experience that our boys need for their development as well as helping to grow the club. 

The final reason for joining is simply because life is very short and so we shouldn't miss an opportunity to fly around Europe and play the sport we love and have a great party afterwards.

I realise that is a very long answer to a very short question so in summary:

We decided to join the competition to help develop our players, grow our club and enjoy the rare experience of going somewhere new and playing the sport we love.


The great thing about this competition is that it is running before our domestic comp.  We normally only get the lads engaged when they are finished with their Union clubs but next year they'll come to the Outlaws earlier for pre-comp training and friendlies and then after Euro XIIIs we'll be straight in to preparations for the Welsh Premier so its likely we'll keep the squad together for a full 8 months rather than just the usual 3.

I would say about 95% of our boys are cross-code. We have a couple who focus only on League but because they only get about 8 games a year of League they are still very committed to the Union clubs where they'll get 20+ games.  We are hoping if we can extend our season (by increasing the number of teams in Wales and through our involvement in Euro XIIIs) then we will see more and more of the boys focus on League throughout the year.

 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Rhondda Outlaws said:

Noswaith dda / Good evening,

The competition is fully funded.  That means all flights, accommodation, transfers and training facilities are paid for by the organisers (through outside investment & government funding).  As a club, we only have to cover the costs of our visas, insurance, food and beer.

There is a plan beyond 2021.  They are looking to introduce a league as well as the cup competition.

The RLIF (RLEF) are neither for or against this competition as far as I can see.  They are working with the Euro XIII organisers to see where their objectives align so they can work together.  If they find that they have areas they can work together, i'm sure they will.  Dean Buchan spoke more about this in an interview with Forty20 News: https://forty20.news/qa-euro-xiiis-general-manager-dean-buchan-part-two/

Steve, if this is a success for yourselves and you get enough players, what is the future for Rhondda?  Will you entertain a European league or will that be, commercially, a step too far?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Lowdesert said:

Steve, if this is a success for yourselves and you get enough players, what is the future for Rhondda?  Will you entertain a European league or will that be, commercially, a step too far?

It's difficult to say.  Right now we are focusing on increasing the opportunities we provide to play league in the Rhondda.  At present we have the mens, womens, boys under 14s and boys under 12s sides going.  We need to have an U16s as a minimum to ensure we have a pathway for the boys right up from U12s to Mens.  We also want to replicate that for the women so we have girls U12s etc for them.  We also want to be able to offer wheelchair, PDRL and LDRL in the future.

Although we'd love to launch all them immediately, we know growth takes time and it's important to establish a side and then continue to nurture it until its truly stable so we'll only be introducing one or at most 2 new teams a season.

As far as Euro XIII goes, we aren't really thinking beyond 2021. But whatever happens going forward, the focus for our club will always be on providing opportunities to the people of the Rhondda. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Rhondda Outlaws said:

Hi Eddie,

To understand our reasons for joining this comp, we have to go back to 2017 when we established our open-age mens' team.  We started out with a group of men and about 90% of them had never watched a game of Rugby League before let alone played one.  So that first year was all about teaching the boys the game.  Then as we went in to 2018 we still had the same core players and they had a season under their belts so we were able to focus more on the technical aspects like attacking structure, tackle technique, etc.  All the time the players were developing and improving and this ultimately led to us going the whole of 2019 almost undefeated (we lost away to Bridgend in the final round of the regular season) and were crowned Welsh Champions.

Then in January this year we entered the Challenge Cup for the very first time.  We shipped 15 tries against Barrow Island and it highlighted to us how much more we needed to do if we want to compete with the well established clubs in the heartlands.  But the big challenge is that we don't get many games in the Welsh Premier so we are playing the same teams constantly and we only have a few months over the middle of summer.  We have seen from when our players go off to represent Wales in the Welsh Dragonhearts campaigns at the end of the season that they come back much better players for the extra experience and game time.  

When we first heard about the Euro XIIIs it seemed like a great opportunity to get the additional game time and experience that our boys need for their development as well as helping to grow the club. 

The final reason for joining is simply because life is very short and so we shouldn't miss an opportunity to fly around Europe and play the sport we love and have a great party afterwards.

I realise that is a very long answer to a very short question so in summary:

We decided to join the competition to help develop our players, grow our club and enjoy the rare experience of going somewhere new and playing the sport we love.


The great thing about this competition is that it is running before our domestic comp.  We normally only get the lads engaged when they are finished with their Union clubs but next year they'll come to the Outlaws earlier for pre-comp training and friendlies and then after Euro XIIIs we'll be straight in to preparations for the Welsh Premier so its likely we'll keep the squad together for a full 8 months rather than just the usual 3.

I would say about 95% of our boys are cross-code. We have a couple who focus only on League but because they only get about 8 games a year of League they are still very committed to the Union clubs where they'll get 20+ games.  We are hoping if we can extend our season (by increasing the number of teams in Wales and through our involvement in Euro XIIIs) then we will see more and more of the boys focus on League throughout the year.

 

Thanks for this Steve, that’s really interesting. 
 

Conscious that I want to fire loads of questions at you here, but I’ll refrain from doing so! But just this if you don’t mind;

You say increasing the number of teams in the Welsh league would give you more games. Do you think that’s likely (ie are there more clubs who want to join the set up) and what sort of crowds do Welsh league games get now? And finally what are Junior playing numbers like in Wales, are there many kids playing the game?

It must be really tough with football and Union as your competition - best of luck with it all! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Rhondda Outlaws said:

It's difficult to say.  Right now we are focusing on increasing the opportunities we provide to play league in the Rhondda.  At present we have the mens, womens, boys under 14s and boys under 12s sides going.  We need to have an U16s as a minimum to ensure we have a pathway for the boys right up from U12s to Mens.  We also want to replicate that for the women so we have girls U12s etc for them.  We also want to be able to offer wheelchair, PDRL and LDRL in the future.

Although we'd love to launch all them immediately, we know growth takes time and it's important to establish a side and then continue to nurture it until its truly stable so we'll only be introducing one or at most 2 new teams a season.

As far as Euro XIII goes, we aren't really thinking beyond 2021. But whatever happens going forward, the focus for our club will always be on providing opportunities to the people of the Rhondda. 

You will be a busy man.

Best of luck Steve.  I think you will get some interest on here of your progress.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Thanks for this Steve, that’s really interesting. 
 

Conscious that I want to fire loads of questions at you here, but I’ll refrain from doing so! But just this if you don’t mind;

You say increasing the number of teams in the Welsh league would give you more games. Do you think that’s likely (ie are there more clubs who want to join the set up) and what sort of crowds do Welsh league games get now? And finally what are Junior playing numbers like in Wales, are there many kids playing the game?

It must be really tough with football and Union as your competition - best of luck with it all! 

I don't mind answering questions.  I'm really passionate about Rugby League in Wales so i'm always happy to talk about our club and what is going on with the game.

We are expecting to see an additional 1 or hopefully 2 teams enter the Welsh Premier next season.  Aberavon Fighting Irish have reformed and are all set to join and there is the possibility that Aber Valley Wolves (who run loads of junior sides) will put a mens team together in the near future. 

Our average home attendance at a Welsh Premier game last season was 100.  However, our new home is situated on a really big estate up in Glyncoch so we are hoping we can attract more fans from there as they don't have any other sports clubs playing up there.  Wales Rugby League (WRL) have also aligned the mens and womens fixtures for this season (whenever that will be) so we'll be able to play womens, mens and juniors games on the same day.  This will allow us to make it more of an event and we'll hopefully see attendance figures increase.  We are also planning on making entry completely free going forward.  Now that we run our own facilities are costs are greatly reduced and we've had some interest from companies wanting to be Match Day Sponsors which will cover our costs.  Again, we are hopeful that because we are right in Glyncoch and we won't be charging entry, we'll be able to entice a lot of new fans to Coed-Y-Lan field. 

Junior participation is dwindling all across Wales (and the rest of the UK I suspect) but numbers are still pretty good.  We have 20 under 12s and 18 under 14s at present but the under 12s have only been going one season and the under 14s having played a match yet so we are hoping to see an increase in those squads.  Aber Valley Wolves and Cardiff both see really good numbers and run 2 teams at each age grade so we are positive we'll see growth here in the Rhondda if we work hard at it.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Rhondda Outlaws said:

I don't mind answering questions.  I'm really passionate about Rugby League in Wales so i'm always happy to talk about our club and what is going on with the game.

We are expecting to see an additional 1 or hopefully 2 teams enter the Welsh Premier next season.  Aberavon Fighting Irish have reformed and are all set to join and there is the possibility that Aber Valley Wolves (who run loads of junior sides) will put a mens team together in the near future. 

Our average home attendance at a Welsh Premier game last season was 100.  However, our new home is situated on a really big estate up in Glyncoch so we are hoping we can attract more fans from there as they don't have any other sports clubs playing up there.  Wales Rugby League (WRL) have also aligned the mens and womens fixtures for this season (whenever that will be) so we'll be able to play womens, mens and juniors games on the same day.  This will allow us to make it more of an event and we'll hopefully see attendance figures increase.  We are also planning on making entry completely free going forward.  Now that we run our own facilities are costs are greatly reduced and we've had some interest from companies wanting to be Match Day Sponsors which will cover our costs.  Again, we are hopeful that because we are right in Glyncoch and we won't be charging entry, we'll be able to entice a lot of new fans to Coed-Y-Lan field. 

Junior participation is dwindling all across Wales (and the rest of the UK I suspect) but numbers are still pretty good.  We have 20 under 12s and 18 under 14s at present but the under 12s have only been going one season and the under 14s having played a match yet so we are hoping to see an increase in those squads.  Aber Valley Wolves and Cardiff both see really good numbers and run 2 teams at each age grade so we are positive we'll see growth here in the Rhondda if we work hard at it.

That's great to hear Steve.

In relation to Euro XIII's what is WRL's take on it ? 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Pen-Y-Bont Crusader said:

That's great to hear Steve.

In relation to Euro XIII's what is WRL's take on it ? 

We've had a lot of discussions with WRL around this.  They are working with the RFL and RLEF and won't make any formal announcements until they've done whatever it is they need to do but they have confirmed we are free agents and therefore free to enter the competition as it doesn't impact on our domestic league at all.

As we come under WRL, they are obviously taking a cautious approach and ensuring we are doing all necessary due-dilegence.  So they are acting as a 'critical friend'.  I can confirm we didn't go in to this with our eyes closed. Our committee has a few people who run their own companies and we are used to doing risk assessments and such so we were fully aware of what we were signing up for before we entered the competition.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Rhondda Outlaws said:

We've had a lot of discussions with WRL around this.  They are working with the RFL and RLEF and won't make any formal announcements until they've done whatever it is they need to do but they have confirmed we are free agents and therefore free to enter the competition as it doesn't impact on our domestic league at all.

As we come under WRL, they are obviously taking a cautious approach and ensuring we are doing all necessary due-dilegence.  So they are acting as a 'critical friend'.  I can confirm we didn't go in to this with our eyes closed. Our committee has a few people who run their own companies and we are used to doing risk assessments and such so we were fully aware of what we were signing up for before we entered the competition.

Steve I can only but admire your enthusiasm and those of your players to take this journey upwards.

I recognise your sharp learning curve when you ran into NCL amateur opposition. You are not alone. Southern conference and  Elite European  ( including National sides ) have met it too. Thought about the answer  to a proper ladder for years and still uncertain. League 1 aspirants just do not cut  it in terms  of structure let alone playing depth.

And so back to Euro X111.

Incredible initiative that according to my reading of standards is at the bottom end of most sides  in regional /local leagues round here. But so what ?  Euro Trip -- bring it on 

 Give it a go.  But hope the organisers  do not over hype it.

Dean Buchan in release 2 of his interview  said   'Each club that has entered has  the permission of the Governing Body that it is affiliated to '

No problems then anywhere

 The UK affiliated clubs just need to get their clearance letters  from their NGB  - the forms are on the website - - and to start with once approved  their insurance is covered  without cost ,  before they need to look  any where else to meet all their other overseas obligations .  The NGB takes care of the tick list . Fairly simple if in fact all European Bodies including the RFL , WRL and SRL are all on board ( sorry I forgot the Irish ) 

Dean Buchan says it's all running with NGB  permission so that;s great .

Bring it on Look forward to seeing some of it on a screen…….

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outside investment and government funding?  Im not buying into this until that's clarified properly.  Who's throwing money at a comp that realistically will cost a fortune to run and will be a very low standard of football?  Maybe this Buchan guy's some kind of salesman but I just don't get it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Tre Cool said:

Outside investment and government funding?  Im not buying into this until that's clarified properly.  Who's throwing money at a comp that realistically will cost a fortune to run and will be a very low standard of football?

 Dean Buchan is now in charge of Spain RL and can therefore pitch his sale to Government for funds as an NGB.  Presumably the same for the Italians.

Those Governments  will have no idea as to this Comps  potential or value. Will it bring extra  tourists to Valencia ?  Who knows exactly what the pitch has been there or anywhere else  for that matter with the other investors ?  Government of course runs to all levels and could well just mean the local Authority,  Zilch transparency so far....

Still hope it goes well but if it doesn't then the collateral damage could be huge...….

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Tre Cool said:

Outside investment and government funding?  Im not buying into this until that's clarified properly.  Who's throwing money at a comp that realistically will cost a fortune to run and will be a very low standard of football?  Maybe this Buchan guy's some kind of salesman but I just don't get it.

The comp will have 15 games in total in 2021, why will it cost a fortune?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28/06/2020 at 20:12, Oldbear said:

But if you have 16 teams, 8 games played in 1 hub city, 4 Saturday, 4 Sunday could mean you only need 4 officiating crews. Playing at the home ground of the team drawn first means double the officials needed, plus maybe some visa issues too. I suspect that if this does get off the ground they will need to announce hub cities for the first 2 rounds as well as the semis and finals and to keep costs down, plus minimize visa issues, these hub cities will be ones which a. have an airport nearby which is serviced by a low cost airline and b. is in the EU. Suggestions anyone?

Make sense in terms of "magic weekend style" location wise Turkey are the main visa cost problem, unless as UK nationals you would have to pay a Visa to enter the EU after Brexit it should be fine, however with 3 teams from the UK already announced at present unless they start getting soccer creative and including Azerbaijan as a European country it would be only Turkey where a visa would be needed 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28/06/2020 at 21:09, Rhondda Outlaws said:

Hi everyone,

I'm Steve Bartlett, the General Manager of Rhondda Outlaws.  I've been following this thread for a while and I think its great to see healthy debate about something as new and exciting as Euro XIIIs.

I've decided to jump on now to offer myself up to answer questions because I can see there is some confusion around the competition and the motivation of clubs joining and I've also noticed some incorrect things being repeated and I don't want rumours to become 'the truth'.

So, ask me anything.  If I can answer I will.  Some things are commercially sensitive (either for the Euro XIIIs organisers or the Rhondda Outlaws) and some things aren't know to us yet so if your question falls in to that category, I'll let you know but other than that, I will try to be as open as possible.

Hi Steve,

First of all good luck on your adventure. How easy did you find the application process for the tournament? And you mentioned more sponsors which is great out of interest without naming them have are you managing to get into markets where you previously haven't? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Final has been scheduled for 13th March 2020 that weekend in 2020 was a Challenge Cup round (1st entry for Championship sides) it may shift next year however we are well into the domestic season in the Super League and RFL structure. If it was a challenge cup round and you could convince one of the teams to play their game in Valencia as a double header with the finals of the Euro 13s it might attract a decent crowd. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, HarrogateKnights said:

Hi Steve,

First of all good luck on your adventure. How easy did you find the application process for the tournament? And you mentioned more sponsors which is great out of interest without naming them have are you managing to get into markets where you previously haven't? 

Bora da / Good morning,

The application process was quite lengthy but pretty easy overall.  There was an initial 'expression of interest' form that just required we provide some basic details of our club.  Then followed a whole series of calls with the organisers to discuss the competition before we submitted the formal application.  After we submitted the formal application we completed the non-disclosure agreement and then had loads more calls with the organisers where they were able to discuss some of the more sensitive and commercially sensitive stuff.  We had to go through the organisers due-diligence process too.  When all that was finished, all that was left was the horrible wait to hear if we had been selected.

With the sponsors, we have always posted on social media asking if any businesses want to sponsor us but we've never had any responses for that.  So the way we've always had to get sponsorship money was to go out and pound the pavements to find sponsors. This obviously limits the scope as we tend to target local businesses or businesses that our committee members work in.  There isn't any major industry in the Rhondda these days so we tend to ask small limited companies or sole traders. The sponsors who have come onboard with us over the years have been amazing and very loyal which means we are usually confident we'll bring in enough sponsorship each season to cover kit, equipment and expenses. 

The big change we have seen since being announced as part of the Euro XIII competition is businesses approaching us directly (which will save my shoe leather) and they aren't all based in the Rhondda.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Eddie said:

The comp will have 15 games in total in 2021, why will it cost a fortune?

Even if it is bankrolled Eddie it will still  cost  perhaps 10k a game.  The  likely finances ( without input from any organisers ) were looked at pages ago. Most sponsors expect some form of return....

Not sure what you believe is a small fortune but I would love  let's say 200k put into my pension pot.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, del capo said:

 Dean Buchan is now in charge of Spain RL and can therefore pitch his sale to Government for funds as an NGB.  Presumably the same for the Italians.

Those Governments  will have no idea as to this Comps  potential or value. Will it bring extra  tourists to Valencia ?  Who knows exactly what the pitch has been there or anywhere else  for that matter with the other investors ?  Government of course runs to all levels and could well just mean the local Authority,  Zilch transparency so far....

Still hope it goes well but if it doesn't then the collateral damage could be huge...….

I still think its highly unlikely that any governments will provide funding for an unsanctioned breakaway competition. It's safe to say the UK government won't be backing this one.

Personally I think that any funding would be better used to strengthen local competitions in those countries. I'd imagine that's also what most government funding would also be looking at ie. increased participation, community projects etc. The whole idea that government funding has been secured just doesn't ring true. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, HarrogateKnights said:

Final has been scheduled for 13th March 2020 that weekend in 2020 was a Challenge Cup round (1st entry for Championship sides) it may shift next year however we are well into the domestic season in the Super League and RFL structure. If it was a challenge cup round and you could convince one of the teams to play their game in Valencia as a double header with the finals of the Euro 13s it might attract a decent crowd. 

The RFL sit down  every year about this time to work out the  ' Calendar ' which ties in every competition , tour etc from SL to Tier 5  into  a format for the following year to produce , hopefully , a clean flow throughout the game.

Within that I am confident that if it is the Euro X111 organisers desire they could be  encapsulated within it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, del capo said:

Even if it is bankrolled Eddie it will still  cost  perhaps 10k a game.  The  likely finances ( without input from any organisers ) were looked at pages ago. Most sponsors expect some form of return....

Not sure what you believe is a small fortune but I would love  let's say 200k put into my pension pot.....

I'd say 10k is a low estimate too. I think you could double that and still fall short. Flights, hotels, insurance, medical, equipment, consumables, food, drink, stadium costs, referee, media etc. 

It costs a small fortune for an away trip to Cumbria (or vice versa) so imagine how much an international trip costs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...