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It is still the off season so why not a thread with a new twist on a modern classic.

Reserves and DR cause mass consternation. Reserves aren't deemed a high enough level by some and DR distorts the clubs below Super League, often leading to unhappy players in the lower league club. Is there a Third Way?

B Teams, usually a variation of u21s appear in several forms all over Europe within the same pyramid as their First Grade teams in football; and it is on the rise. Perhaps most famously seen in Spain with the Castilla sides of Barcelona and Real Madrid, Premier League clubs have now followed suit with u21s sides being introduced into the EFL trophy (League 1 & 2 cup). In Scotland, Celtic and Rangers now have B teams playing in the lower divisions. Could RL have something similar?

Its worth pointing out there are several rules applied to these B Teams. Whilst they are in the same pyramid, they are not allowed to compete in the same competitions as their senior sides. So no Promotion to the top flight or competing in the cup. They are generally restricted by age of players they play too in the same way u23s are for example (3 overage players only). Of course for RL any new rules could be brought in as seen fit.

Could a handful of these go a way to solving several problems in RL? Possibly.

Firstly, it would mean DR could be ended for good. No more Fev Rhinos etc. There is a club in the lower league for fringe Super League players from top clubs to go to without making a Championship/League 1 club stronger or weaker.

Secondly, it would make the reserve grade/top tier of the academy a stronger development tool. That benefits the whole game ultimately with more better quality players in the talent pool.

Thirdly, and linked to the above, it gives an opportunity for backroom and coaching staff to develop. Again that broadens the talent pool in the game, hopefully helping drive us forwards to compete with the worlds best.

Finally, on a purely practical level, League 1 does not have enough teams in it. B teams from some clubs are an easy and cost effective way of alleviating that problem. It also could mean a few healthy gates for League 1 clubs and a greater exposure of that level of the game to the fans in the reach of the top division sides. For southern Clubs, the developmental competition they were promised years ago could actually be more tangible too, meaning the growth of League 1 ( and RL) becomes more accessible.

I think there are issues to be ironed out, chiefly who the clubs with B teams would be.

So what do you think TRLers?

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10 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

It is still the off season so why not a thread with a new twist on a modern classic.

Reserves and DR cause mass consternation. Reserves aren't deemed a high enough level by some and DR distorts the clubs below Super League, often leading to unhappy players in the lower league club. Is there a Third Way?

B Teams, usually a variation of u21s appear in several forms all over Europe within the same pyramid as their First Grade teams in football; and it is on the rise. Perhaps most famously seen in Spain with the Castilla sides of Barcelona and Real Madrid, Premier League clubs have now followed suit with u21s sides being introduced into the EFL trophy (League 1 & 2 cup). In Scotland, Celtic and Rangers now have B teams playing in the lower divisions. Could RL have something similar?

Its worth pointing out there are several rules applied to these B Teams. Whilst they are in the same pyramid, they are not allowed to compete in the same competitions as their senior sides. So no Promotion to the top flight or competing in the cup. They are generally restricted by age of players they play too in the same way u23s are for example (3 overage players only). Of course for RL any new rules could be brought in as seen fit.

Could a handful of these go a way to solving several problems in RL? Possibly.

Firstly, it would mean DR could be ended for good. No more Fev Rhinos etc. There is a club in the lower league for fringe Super League players from top clubs to go to without making a Championship/League 1 club stronger or weaker.

Secondly, it would make the reserve grade/top tier of the academy a stronger development tool. That benefits the whole game ultimately with more better quality players in the talent pool.

Thirdly, and linked to the above, it gives an opportunity for backroom and coaching staff to develop. Again that broadens the talent pool in the game, hopefully helping drive us forwards to compete with the worlds best.

Finally, on a purely practical level, League 1 does not have enough teams in it. B teams from some clubs are an easy and cost effective way of alleviating that problem. It also could mean a few healthy gates for League 1 clubs and a greater exposure of that level of the game to the fans in the reach of the top division sides. For southern Clubs, the developmental competition they were promised years ago could actually be more tangible too, meaning the growth of League 1 ( and RL) becomes more accessible.

I think there are issues to be ironed out, chiefly who the clubs with B teams would be.

So what do you think TRLers?

Not for me

Look at what happened in football with the B teams in the lower league Cup. My club Bradford were getting 500-600 usual attendances are 14000+. If your a Keighley or Doncaster fan would you want to pay to watch Leeds or Castleford reserves? 

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9 minutes ago, Bulls2487 said:

Not for me

Look at what happened in football with the B teams in the lower league Cup. My club Bradford were getting 500-600 usual attendances are 14000+. If your a Keighley or Doncaster fan would you want to pay to watch Leeds or Castleford reserves? 

Tbf though that was for the Johnstone's paint trophy, which I remember attending when my club were in League 1, and had a aura of drab about the whole thing.

In anycase, how many Keighley/Doncaster fans turn out to watch them play West Wales or Coventry or formerly Hemel or Gloucestershire All Golds. We're dealing with a much lower base number across the league here.

In a regular league competition perhaps it would be less EFL Trophy.

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I do think it’s a better idea than running reserves.  As you say it’s how we pick the clubs allowed to have a b team. Maybe start off with clubs given permission to run full academys can have b teams enter the league. The only other thing I would say is these teams shouldn’t be allowed to enter the CC either. 

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There needs to be a different solution. DR needs to be scrapped and never be brought back. Long term loans should be the only system to cover depleted squads due to growing injury problems, no fit and willing signed players should be left out of their clubs squad for a SL player looking for game time, end of.

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I am never really a fan of this idea but can see it does have merit. It is one of those my heart says one thing and my head another. I just dont like it from an integrity point of view and would rather we had proper reserve teams and a structure that is enforced and taken seriously by all SL teams. Other ideas such as this are ultimately a result of the failings of SL clubs and the RFL over a long period of time due to the desire to cut costs and save money.

However on a more pragmatic, needs must level I do think there are benefits but I wouldn't want to see it in the Championship. The Championship to me should be all about clubs that aspire to be Super League clubs and I think B teams dilute that. I do think attendances would be badly damaged at that level too.

I would also probably want to see it taken a step further with more B teams, with it mandatory for all SL teams rather than just a select few, and anyone else that wishes to field one. This in turn would mean the creation of a League 2, which would additionally give new professional teams a lower level to start from and would cater for different levels of professional and B teams. I think at this lower level some of the smaller teams and newer clubs may actually get better attendances too against the likes of Wigan or Leeds B teams.

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14 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

I do think it’s a better idea than running reserves.  As you say it’s how we pick the clubs allowed to have a b team. Maybe start off with clubs given permission to run full academys can have b teams enter the league. The only other thing I would say is these teams shouldn’t be allowed to enter the CC either. 

That's how it works in Spain with regards to the Cup. 

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I suppose the only downside for me and the reason why it probably won’t happen is there would be a good chance Saints,Leeds and Wigan could eventually start dominating the championship with the result of effectively killing promotion and relegation via the back door. 

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Every Single professional club should have a reserve team and pathway/academy side.

The Reserve team and the academy team should always play in the same league as the 1st team, i.e Wigan in SL so their reserves and academy play in their retrospective age group SL.

Matchdays should consist of 2 games, the reserves should travel with the first team and play curtain raiser against the same opposition. 

'This would mean any paying fans for the first team fixture get to watch a second match (curtain raiser) free which adds value to the cost of a matchday ticket. it could also possibly boost attendance.

It would also enable younger players/injured players game time and experience in and around the first team and in front of a crowd.

The game needs to promote a clear pathway to improve the amount of fresh young players coming through and you don't need to spend millions to do it. 

Dual Registration wants binning.

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58 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

I suppose the only downside for me and the reason why it probably won’t happen is there would be a good chance Saints,Leeds and Wigan could eventually start dominating the championship with the result of effectively killing promotion and relegation via the back door. 

I think they would make sure that the age limit of say u21s (with maybe 2 or 3 overs) would resolve that. Very few will get out of League 1 potentially if you make the rules strict enough.

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1 hour ago, Damien said:

I am never really a fan of this idea but can see it does have merit. It is one of those my heart says one thing and my head another. I just dont like it from an integrity point of view and would rather we had proper reserve teams and a structure that is enforced and taken seriously by all SL teams. Other ideas such as this are ultimately a result of the failings of SL clubs and the RFL over a long period of time due to the desire to cut costs and save money.

However on a more pragmatic, needs must level I do think there are benefits but I wouldn't want to see it in the Championship. The Championship to me should be all about clubs that aspire to be Super League clubs and I think B teams dilute that. I do think attendances would be badly damaged at that level too.

I would also probably want to see it taken a step further with more B teams, with it mandatory for all SL teams rather than just a select few, and anyone else that wishes to field one. This in turn would mean the creation of a League 2, which would additionally give new professional teams a lower level to start from and would cater for different levels of professional and B teams. I think at this lower level some of the smaller teams and newer clubs may actually get better attendances too against the likes of Wigan or Leeds B teams.

I definitely think at League 1 level it could help. And Super League B clubs could quite reasonably get higher crowds than many current League 1 sides too (not a high bar I know). I agree with your thoughts on newer/expansion teams vs big clubs B teams.

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2 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

It is still the off season so why not a thread with a new twist on a modern classic.

Reserves and DR cause mass consternation. Reserves aren't deemed a high enough level by some and DR distorts the clubs below Super League, often leading to unhappy players in the lower league club. Is there a Third Way?

B Teams, usually a variation of u21s appear in several forms all over Europe within the same pyramid as their First Grade teams in football; and it is on the rise. Perhaps most famously seen in Spain with the Castilla sides of Barcelona and Real Madrid, Premier League clubs have now followed suit with u21s sides being introduced into the EFL trophy (League 1 & 2 cup). In Scotland, Celtic and Rangers now have B teams playing in the lower divisions. Could RL have something similar?

Its worth pointing out there are several rules applied to these B Teams. Whilst they are in the same pyramid, they are not allowed to compete in the same competitions as their senior sides. So no Promotion to the top flight or competing in the cup. They are generally restricted by age of players they play too in the same way u23s are for example (3 overage players only). Of course for RL any new rules could be brought in as seen fit.

Could a handful of these go a way to solving several problems in RL? Possibly.

Firstly, it would mean DR could be ended for good. No more Fev Rhinos etc. There is a club in the lower league for fringe Super League players from top clubs to go to without making a Championship/League 1 club stronger or weaker.

Secondly, it would make the reserve grade/top tier of the academy a stronger development tool. That benefits the whole game ultimately with more better quality players in the talent pool.

Thirdly, and linked to the above, it gives an opportunity for backroom and coaching staff to develop. Again that broadens the talent pool in the game, hopefully helping drive us forwards to compete with the worlds best.

Finally, on a purely practical level, League 1 does not have enough teams in it. B teams from some clubs are an easy and cost effective way of alleviating that problem. It also could mean a few healthy gates for League 1 clubs and a greater exposure of that level of the game to the fans in the reach of the top division sides. For southern Clubs, the developmental competition they were promised years ago could actually be more tangible too, meaning the growth of League 1 ( and RL) becomes more accessible.

I think there are issues to be ironed out, chiefly who the clubs with B teams would be.

So what do you think TRLers?

it gets a thumbs for the innovation alone.

You refer to continental European clubs who run what we call "B" teams. These are whole divisions of the senior club.

Thus Ajax Amsterdam run Ajax Jong (Nicknamed Ajax twee). It sits in their 2nd tier. Swaps from the 1st team club from twee used to be super relaxed, but now it's limited to longer swaps and only moved during the transfer window. The Dutch refer such entities as Beloften, which in English means "promising. That might in itself sum up what these clubs aspire to.

If this is what you are considering, reality is Catalans and  Toulouse already have this in Elite 1.

In England, the big six could ata stretch run beloften clubs, added to the Championship.

However I also think you are referring to feeder clubs. Separate entities, which have a very close and exclusive relationship with a senior club. 

Of course this is rare. I think ) correct if I am wrong)  but doesnt ML Baseball run such a system.

The "farm" teams in Australia/NZ is well known to us and its sort of a hybrid between independent clubs affiliated to a senior clubs and more substantial feeders,

SRD proposed using Manchester Rangers as a hybrid reserve/feeder club in League 1. Seems the RFL rejected this for the dogs dinner of DR.

You seem wisely to be joining others who wish these matters were run openly and consistently.

The Leeds-Fev debacle has opened up worries that another aspect of the sport can be "gamed" and distorted.

For a sport you need its roots to be as strong as its furthest branch. All and every needs  to spread the benefit than to be solely for a handful of clubs, with declining support.

Personally I can see the game being organized three ways.

A senior full time professional leagues(s), an immediate semi professional tier(s) and amatuer BARLA.

Then a clear and transparent pathway between all three for players/coaches.

An equally open system of affiliations between clubs at different tiers. Direct, indirect. As long as it is honest and co-operative.

And increase competitiveness and reduce costs) amalgamations of many aspects of the game from Academies to marketing. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, idrewthehaggis said:

The Leeds-Fev debacle has opened up worries that another aspect of the sport can be "gamed" and distorted.

What debacle?

Fev, although announced as DR with Leeds, have assembled a squad that is strong enough to be challenging for promotion, with the number of players signed similar to most championship clubs.

Last season, there was no DR, but loans were used instead. The quality of players that Fev used as loanee's were arguably stronger than what has previously been used on DR.  

So if you ban DR, ban loans as well, as there is no difference.

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2 hours ago, Bulls2487 said:

Not for me

Look at what happened in football with the B teams in the lower league Cup. My club Bradford were getting 500-600 usual attendances are 14000+. If your a Keighley or Doncaster fan would you want to pay to watch Leeds or Castleford reserves? 

Keighley and Doncaster fans should want to pay to watch their team play,who ever the opposition are,that's what fans do.

The idea of B teams playing in lower divisions especially L1,  in view of the small number of fixtures, is appealing but only as long as those B team fixture results are deemed as friendlies and form no part of the League table process.

It would also be nice to see those B teams making a financial contribution, out of their Sky monies, to their League opposition, who would after all be providing a way of the fringe players being able to play under their own clubs banner, and also providing what amounts to full contact,unscripted training sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

I definitely think at League 1 level it could help. And Super League B clubs could quite reasonably get higher crowds than many current League 1 sides too (not a high bar I know). I agree with your thoughts on newer/expansion teams vs big clubs B teams.

My first instinct is to be very soundly against the idea but I can't actually think of a genuine reason why it would be a bad thing for the handful of teams that would want to do it to enter 'B' teams into League 1 - subject to the rules mentioned above about not entering the Challenge Cup, not being eligible for promotion (etc).

There are a few examples of reserve teams dotted around the lower reaches of the football pyramid. (I'm very much against for further up.) It really doesn't diminish the leagues involved.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Just had an idea pop into my head then, about Dual Registration. What do the forum members think about it being run on a draft system?

SL clubs offer players up for the draft (early to mid-week, say) and starting with the lowest team in the (championship) league, the championship club can pick (say 3 players) from the draft then it becomes the turn of the next lowest placed team, to choose and so on.

This would give struggling teams the advantage of the pick of the crop, no doubt leveling up (and increasing) the standard of the competition. This would make the final outcome of the competition far less predictable week on week and certainly at the seasons start. 

The number of picks each club gets, might need to be adjusted each week, once the draft was compiled, depending on how many players were drafted. If 36 players were drafted it could be 3 picks each, if 24 then 2 picks each, etc.

I've not given it a great deal of thought yet (that might be obvious) so I just wondered what the group thinks of the idea? 

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59 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

Just had an idea pop into my head then, about Dual Registration. What do the forum members think about it being run on a draft system?

SL clubs offer players up for the draft (early to mid-week, say) and starting with the lowest team in the (championship) league, the championship club can pick (say 3 players) from the draft then it becomes the turn of the next lowest placed team, to choose and so on.

This would give struggling teams the advantage of the pick of the crop, no doubt leveling up (and increasing) the standard of the competition. This would make the final outcome of the competition far less predictable week on week and certainly at the seasons start. 

The number of picks each club gets, might need to be adjusted each week, once the draft was compiled, depending on how many players were drafted. If 36 players were drafted it could be 3 picks each, if 24 then 2 picks each, etc.

I've not given it a great deal of thought yet (that might be obvious) so I just wondered what the group thinks of the idea? 

SL clubs wouldn't be up for it. Clubs that employ dual registration generally form close partnerships and trust the lower league club in question. Its not just a case of letting them go to any random club.

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

SL clubs wouldn't be up for it. Clubs that employ dual registration generally form close partnerships and trust the lower league club in question. Its not just a case of letting them go to any random club.

I wonder?

I think if that kind of distrust exists amongst member clubs (and I don't doubt it), it's a problem we should strive to overcome.

Anyway, thanks for engaging with it.

I think it does have some obvious advantages (for all concerned) but it needs everyone's buy-in or it's a dead duck.

Next? 

 

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5 hours ago, bobbruce said:

I suppose the only downside for me and the reason why it probably won’t happen is there would be a good chance Saints,Leeds and Wigan could eventually start dominating the championship with the result of effectively killing promotion and relegation via the back door. 

St Helens had a B team years ago in the Barla North West Counties League.

They were far from dominant.

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12 minutes ago, del capo said:

St Helens had a B team years ago in the Barla North West Counties League.

They were far from dominant.

In the early 80s playing in amateur leagues I’m not sure they would be comparable to what we are looking at here. 

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1 minute ago, bobbruce said:

In the early 80s playing in amateur leagues I’m not sure they would be comparable to what we are looking at here. 

A 'B ' team is by definition  the third string.

Even in the 80's players attached to pro clubs  had 'expectations ' but how on earth these days is anybody going to find the money to run it ?

Don't get me wrong - I hate dual registration. It corrupts the sport.The competition I support , the  NCL , refuse to allow it.

' One club at a time '  should be the rule universally. Stop messing around. SL clubs should concentrate on their Reserves and Academies. The rest should rely on their own resources and build their support  accordingly , on tribal lines and with real  fan ownership.

That way clubs can measure themselves  against each other across the board and be proud of it.

I remember Wigan once having 4 international wingers on their books. They all played for the club every weekend and the speccies loved it........

 

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2 minutes ago, del capo said:

A 'B ' team is by definition  the third string.

Even in the 80's players attached to pro clubs  had 'expectations ' but how on earth these days is anybody going to find the money to run it ?

Don't get me wrong - I hate dual registration. It corrupts the sport.The competition I support , the  NCL , refuse to allow it.

' One club at a time '  should be the rule universally. Stop messing around. SL clubs should concentrate on their Reserves and Academies. The rest should rely on their own resources and build their support  accordingly , on tribal lines and with real  fan ownership.

That way clubs can measure themselves  against each other across the board and be proud of it.

I remember Wigan once having 4 international wingers on their books. They all played for the club every weekend and the speccies loved it........

 

What’s being talked about here is not a third team. It’s effectively reserves joining the pro leagues. I think even this has massive issues but it’s an improvement on running reserves. 

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