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The Devil's Advocate User avatar
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I suppose we'll have to wait until their "Golden Generation" retire, similar to what happened at Leeds.

But if St's were to plummet in the same manner, the town would be on suicide watch.
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User avatarMild Rover wrote:
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Magic Superbeetle wrote:
That's the million dollar question. I would say based on your response that its about as frequent top clubs poaching junior talent as it is top clubs losing players to RU/ NRL (again not data driven, just going off the conversation we have here) so the poaching argument holds no water - and I suspect that will be a recurring theme of these conversations; every time one of the reasons for not investing time/energy/money in the academy model which certain clubs trot out just doesn't hold.

I fear there is no quick fix. Clubs trying to shortcut have effectively given a few teams over a decades headstart and I dont know how you can erase that without a) damaging the good work the triopoly do and b) without significant investment


But, in fairness, I’m advocating a restructure in which there’d be a much stronger player pathway with a number of traditional clubs providing part-time stepping stones to a smaller number of new big teams who would benefit from all the things the current big teams and their fans advocate. It’s a recognition and acceptance that there is no easy fix, or perhaps any fix at all as things stand, and that to have more competitive teams substantial sacrifices would have to be made.

I think your point about investing time, energy and money is interesting, and I’d love to know more about why Hull KR and some other clubs have struggled so badly in this area in terms of effort vs competency. However, it comes back to the old Saints/Wigan/Leeds have great cultures thing. I’m a great believer in culture, it trumps strategy etc. And I accept that those clubs do have strong cultures. But it feels like that is sometimes used to close down debate around other structural issues, and plans that don’t start and finish with a focus on youth development in the Saints et al. model.
'Thus I am tormented by my curiosity and humbled by my ignorance.' from History of an Old Bramin, The New York Mirror (A Weekly Journal Devoted to Literature and the Fine Arts), February 16th 1833.

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The Devil's Advocate wrote:
I suppose we'll have to wait until their "Golden Generation" retire, similar to what happened at Leeds.

But if St's were to plummet in the same manner, the town would be on suicide watch.

Sadly it already is one of the country’s suicide “hotspots”. Genuinely.
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The Devil's Advocate wrote:
I suppose we'll have to wait until their "Golden Generation" retire, similar to what happened at Leeds.

But if St's were to plummet in the same manner, the town would be on suicide watch.


You will be waiting a long time. In Dodd and Welsby they have 2 world class halfbacks for many years to come along with a once in generation talent full back, Harry Robertson that every single top SL club wanted but hes a Saints fan. They then also have Delaney who will be the second best prop in the country after Lees in a couple of years.
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Mild Rover wrote:
Good points/questions. Before I answer I should probably acknowledge that my view isn't representative of general Hull KR opinion, from CEO to the vast, vast majority of fans. In fact, it is pretty much the polar opposite.

I guess I am going fair way back to players like Shenton (fairly briefly and trophylessly, admittedly), LMS, Clubb and Tom Briscoe who have retired or will do in the not too distant. They're the ones who spring to mind... then again, I'm getting old and disinterested, and I barely knew who four-time dream teamer Morgan Knowles was until last week. Scott Taylor is the obvious one from a Hull KR perspective - I don't think many would argue against him being the best Hull KR-produced player of the SL era (well, Jon Wilkin obviously - but I mean after our first promotion). There were other factors at play, but not long after the club announced their 'building for the future' strategy for 2012 onwards, he left to immediately win the double with Wigan in 2013.

Maybe it isn't happening as much now, but look at who Hull KR (and for good measure, Hull FC) produced during the decade that followed Taylor's debut.
https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/sport/r ... ue-4212834
https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/sport/r ... 10-4169652

I can't be bothered to check but I don't think there's a full England or GB international in there (like Taylor, Josh Hodgson debuted in 2009). Cas and Wakefield have hardly been prolific either.

Now, if somebody could explain to me why these academies have been so relatively unproductive for so long and that there are realistic steps that they can take to remedy that without cutting 25% off the first team wage bill, or something similarly self defeating, then I'll very happily change my mind. Who wouldn't want a substantial no- or low-cost benefit. But unless or until one of the less well-off clubs makes it work, I'll remain skeptical based on what I've seen these last ~15 years.

Without major (and unlikely) external investment in clubs outside the top group, the only way I can see to have a more compelling pro RL competition on this side of the world is through a fundamental restructure. I hope I'm wrong, because that also seems unlikely.

Edit: Jordan Abdull played for England last year.


when did watts come through?
Mild Rover wrote:
Good points/questions. Before I answer I should probably acknowledge that my view isn't representative of general Hull KR opinion, from CEO to the vast, vast majority of fans. In fact, it is pretty much the polar opposite.

I guess I am going fair way back to players like Shenton (fairly briefly and trophylessly, admittedly), LMS, Clubb and Tom Briscoe who have retired or will do in the not too distant. They're the ones who spring to mind... then again, I'm getting old and disinterested, and I barely knew who four-time dream teamer Morgan Knowles was until last week. Scott Taylor is the obvious one from a Hull KR perspective - I don't think many would argue against him being the best Hull KR-produced player of the SL era (well, Jon Wilkin obviously - but I mean after our first promotion). There were other factors at play, but not long after the club announced their 'building for the future' strategy for 2012 onwards, he left to immediately win the double with Wigan in 2013.

Maybe it isn't happening as much now, but look at who Hull KR (and for good measure, Hull FC) produced during the decade that followed Taylor's debut.
https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/sport/r ... ue-4212834
https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/sport/r ... 10-4169652

I can't be bothered to check but I don't think there's a full England or GB international in there (like Taylor, Josh Hodgson debuted in 2009). Cas and Wakefield have hardly been prolific either.

Now, if somebody could explain to me why these academies have been so relatively unproductive for so long and that there are realistic steps that they can take to remedy that without cutting 25% off the first team wage bill, or something similarly self defeating, then I'll very happily change my mind. Who wouldn't want a substantial no- or low-cost benefit. But unless or until one of the less well-off clubs makes it work, I'll remain skeptical based on what I've seen these last ~15 years.

Without major (and unlikely) external investment in clubs outside the top group, the only way I can see to have a more compelling pro RL competition on this side of the world is through a fundamental restructure. I hope I'm wrong, because that also seems unlikely.

Edit: Jordan Abdull played for England last year.


when did watts come through?

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Fantastic Mr Catpiss wrote:
when did watts come through?


SL debut in 2008. Played for Cas Tigers vs Cas Lock Lane in the CC as a 16 year old in 2007.
'Thus I am tormented by my curiosity and humbled by my ignorance.' from History of an Old Bramin, The New York Mirror (A Weekly Journal Devoted to Literature and the Fine Arts), February 16th 1833.

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Saddened! wrote:
I can't help but look at the other Grand Final this weekend as the answer. A Saints v Leeds academy Grand Final. That is why the clubs that win SL win SL. Because they have a feeder system that works (Warrington do too, but they neglect it and aren't patient enough). The likes of Saints, Leeds and Wigan have academy players banging down the door to get a chance. Other clubs aren't allowed a scholarship setup. That is one of the biggest things IMG need to fix. Every club in Super League AND the Championship should be made to run a proper scholarship programme and academy. If they won't or can't afford it, they really don't deserve to be in those competitions, get them out and replace them with clubs that will.




Totally and utterly correct.


Saints essentially fielded an academy side v Cas in April and I think the game finished 30 10. Our first team scraped past a bunch of youngsters but they're very good youngsters who some will be the next generation at saints some will drip into lower leagues. But you aren't talking 1 or 2 good young players you're talking 10-15 from 1 batch and that conveyorbelt continues and continues. Same with leeds and wigan.

Saints can afford to lose star (barba coote etc) players because their kids are damn good now and will only get better.
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TheWarringtonWolve69 wrote:
You will be waiting a long time. In Dodd and Welsby they have 2 world class halfbacks for many years to come along with a once in generation talent full back, Harry Robertson that every single top SL club wanted but hes a Saints fan. They then also have Delaney who will be the second best prop in the country after Lees in a couple of years.
Teehee, this is what the arrogant sliver of fans of all clubs who are at the top think just before the rot sets in.

The realist (smarter) majority know that good times never last forever.
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The draft academy system was one proposed many years ago when a certain rugby union player was heavily involved in our sport at that level. The RFL were all for it, saw it as a way of strengthening all clubs. A sports scientist friend of mine was involved in some trials with the RFL looking at how young players are developed from a S & C perspective and was involved in discussing how this system would be set up.
The system went to vote and Leeds, saints, wigan and Bradford (that’s how long ago this was) we’re massively against the idea (can’t imagine why :roll: :roll: ) and there was talk of clubs threatening to pull out if this was forced upon them.
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Pumpetypump wrote:
Nonsense. I think the gurning lump of gristle from Cumbria was right in trying to remove some of the Academies. The only way we can thrive as a sport is by narrowing the amount of player pathways.


I disagree
The key to success is to have more players coming into the system and receiving quality coaching and guidance to help them improve.
It's all a numbers game and of course, money.
Those who can invest most into both recruitment of and keeping hold of the best young players should prosper most often and to be fair to Leeds, Wigan and Saints, plus, Bradford in the early days, those clubs have manged to do this better than the other clubs.
However, as we've seen with say, Warrington and Leeds for the last couple of years, you need a decent coach.
Money alone cant buy success but, it certainly helps.
It's the same in every sport and perhaps the reason that we've had other clubs at least make the final, perhaps shows how a salary cap can be effective, up to a point.
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