Local first team squad

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  • #6919
    Dan1
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    Just looking through the first team squad, the entire team is from the North West of England.  Anyone know the last time we didn’t have a single Aussie, Kiwi or Yorkshireman in the squad? I’ve been going since the 1986/87 season and can’t recall a time with a Lancashire/Cheshire/Merseyside  only team.

    #6920
    sandgroper
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    Don’t really know if it was from Tim Sheens originally but Phil Finney touches on looking for late developers, or at least those missed early in their careers. Good business imo, particularly with a PT squad. This is going back to the origins of the game.

    In the early days Aussies were a novelty to titillate the crowd – now they are the first call for the top teams, and will become moreso if the academies are allowed to fall apart.

    The idea of effectively forcing Championship sides to drop the academies will rebound on the game for sure. No team has all ‘stars’. Even stars need someone’s shoulders o stand on!

    #6922
    Former Chemic
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    Spot on sandgroper, the key question has to be, if there are no academies how and where do we find and develop young players?

    I hadn’t realised that our current squad was wholly drawn from the north west, so I assume that we have a good team of scouts   keeping an eye out for talent in the region. If so that’s great for us, but it doesn’t solve the main problem of increasing the pool of RL players.

    #6923
    sandgroper
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    Spot on sandgroper, the key question has to be, if there are no academies how and where do we find and develop young players?

    I hadn’t realised that our current squad was wholly drawn from the north west, so I assume that we have a good team of scouts keeping an eye out for talent in the region. If so that’s great for us, but it doesn’t solve the main problem of increasing the pool of RL players.

    I got the impression, maybe incorrectly, that it was that from Tim’s scouting prior to coming here that he had noticed lads of good pedigree that were just playing for ‘fun’ rather than expecting to be snapped up by SL clubs. His view seemed to be that they simply developed over time whereas, as PF suggested the SL clubs made their choice at 14/15yrs old.

    As I said before that suits me! The game at Widnes at any rate is finding its way back to its roots, and that could be our, and maybe the game’s saviour.

    All the ‘greats’ of my youth worked for their living and were none the worse for it. Both RL and RU have turned their backs on their roots for money.

    #7011
    James
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    The concern at present is those kids picked up at 14/15 who are then dropped by SL clubs at 17/18 are just turning away from the game altogether.

    Hopefully we can lead a reform of that system.

    #7020
    Viking25
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    Just looking through the first team squad, the entire team is from the North West of England. Anyone know the last time we didn’t have a single Aussie, Kiwi or Yorkshireman in the squad? I’ve been going since the 1986/87 season and can’t recall a time with a Lancashire/Cheshire/Merseyside only team.

    Spedding from Harrogate, according to club website

    #7026
    Dan1
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    Spedding was born in Harrogate but moved to Warrington at the age of 3 and came through the Saints academy. So I classed him as being local.

    #7037
    ma
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    There’s a certain prop forward at Saints – Alex Walmsley (I’ve heard he’s a fair player) who was a late developer. He was picked up from a club in Dewsbury when he was 22 by John Kear who then had him on trial at Batley before he went to Saints a year later. Just goes to show that there’s talent at amateur level, even if they are beyond academy age. They just have to be given a chance to be coached. This is where I think more work needs to be done with Amateur clubs – it’s not all about academies.

    I bet Wigan were kicking themselves a year after they let Sean Long come to us in what I think was an absolute steal of a deal. Maybe a classic example of top flight clubs being too hasty.

    #7038
    Viking Man
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    The concern at present is those kids picked up at 14/15 who are then dropped by SL clubs at 17/18 are just turning away from the game altogether. Hopefully we can lead a reform of that system.

    I could speak a lot about this subject.  Professional clubs get a lot of general stick from community clubs who take kids away from said clubs at 15 and release them at 17/18 are ‘lost to the game forever’.  The onus isn’t always on the pro club to re-introduce the kid back to RL in some form, however they could always do more and an exit strategy for players needs to be introduced I feel game wide to stop players packing in. There also has to be work from the community club to get the kid back playing for them.  It’s  a very difficult age for amateur players due to lads starting to work/go out etc.   Suggestions for me are the obvious reserves league hopefully thriving in future seasons and regional development camps/trial days for other clubs to go and offer trials to players.

    Going back to the above, the short term solution isn’t there due to finance, which is a shame.  The end of the academy licences at the end of this year is a huge opportunity to review the game at this level as a whole and allow more opportunities for lads in this category.

    #7047
    sandgroper
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    And wasn’t that the point made by PF . Lads can be tempted by a career at the top level and miss other, more conventional careers. The club then decides that their signing isn’t developing and just point to the door. Problem is that our game at top level is quite small and NRL names are easier to buy and sell than bringing the best out of a youngster.

    As PF inferred the game as a whole needs these lads, not all will be stars but all clubs aren’t SL but as it stands the SL clubs can’t be bothered to look after them.

    Just one other point, how good it is to see the youngsters we’ve signed who have gone through our system to gain qualifications that can be used as a base for their futures. That is what made our academy top grade. So what a shortsighted action by the game to see such facilities blown away to save a few bob towards SL pockets.Our game needs public support!!!!

     

     

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