what player had the most potential but failed to fulfil that potential?
Could be from any era, 70’s, 80’s, 90s, 2000’s etc....
One recent example for me Jay Chaplelow. Watched him for two years play in the academy and he looked like he was ready for the first team at 16. Early promise shown, that break against Wigan rarely if ever replicated it. Not a bad player but just an average championship prop.
Adam Lawton another recent one, burst onto the scene, scoring tries and looking like he had everything. For whatever reason it never worked out for him as a professional, sad!
David Mills, Keith Bentley and Ian Gormley to name just three.
David Mills was one. What about Owen Craigie. Although he was an established player, he could have been amazing if he'd have just screwed the nut and had some discipline. Wouldn't get fit and wouldn't lose weight.
Owen Craigie was a complex character. I remember the hysteria and excitement when we signed him, it was purported by an Aussie legend (can’t recall his name) that he was the most exciting half backs he had seen.
Shame, but mentally he wasn’t right for professional sport.
Owen Craigie was the first one that sprang to mind
Adam Hughes is another. Had a great couple of seasons and then his form just totally dropped and never fulfilled that original promise.
Adam Lawton. Definitely believed his own hype too much and look where he is now.
There's loads to be honest but these are three off the top of my head.
Adam Lawton could have been really good, but he wanted to out on the town every weekend as well.
Gareth Haggerty was another one , started out the same time as David Mills and looked good in the A team and in some first team games, but never made it for some reason, he was injury prone as well.
Widnes willy for me ... made more of a name on a rugby forum than a rugby field.
Adam Lawton could have been really good, but he wanted to out on the town every weekend as well. Gareth Haggerty was another one , started out the same time as David Mills and looked good in the A team and in some first team games, but never made it for some reason, he was injury prone as well.
It seems more than a few Widnes lads prioritised a night in the estab over a night preparing the weekends match.
Interesting about different clubs cultures and how players are nurtured. I know Danny Richardson pretty well, a Widnes lad doing well, you love to see it. However, since he broke into the saints first team, I have never seen him out and I know for a fact, he very seldom goes out drinking.
A true professional who is gaining the rewards for his hard work.
Just curious, really, but what did that kid Kieran Butterworth do wrong? The odd time I saw him he was like sh1t off a shovel! I thought he was really exciting. Then there he was, gone.
Going further back, anyone remember Steve Wynn and Mark Sarsfield?
Just curious, really, but what did that kid Kieran Butterworth do wrong? The odd time I saw him he was like sh1t off a shovel! I thought he was really exciting. Then there he was, gone. Going further back, anyone remember Steve Wynn and Mark Sarsfield?
Yeah, I remember those lads. Wynne was a good FB, Sarsfield a winger. Atcheson was coming through at the same time as Wynne, if I remember rightly, and he was bigger and safer and seemed to get the nod more often.
David Marsh was a GB schoolboy captain who looked good and got a few games. Jason Critchley a good running LF.
Hard to crack that team for a lad coming through though!
Adam Lawton for me. Had everything to make it to the top except seemingly the commitment. Could have been an international, now playing for Newcastle in League One.
Owen Craigie another strong shout in this category. Shame to see such a talent thrown away.
Anthony Watts? Was a talented footballer on his day....
Here’s a short selection from my time watching.
All showed something at first team level but for various reasons never kicked on
Obviously shown his potential elsewhere and had a decent career for himself but I always wonder if Rangi Chase had kept his nose clean in more ways than one then how different could things have been?
There was a distinct improvement in results and performances as soon as he walked in.
Controversial but very relevant, Tom Gilmore. Played a lot of youth Rugby for England, rated ahead of Chris Atkin and generally his first 2 seasons he actually shown potential. However, his issue was as soon as he was given the 7 jersey, he was exposed almost immediately. Body wasn’t made for RL.
Olly Ashall? He was touted from the age of 15 in Rugby League magazines has the next Sam Tomkins, his best matches occurred in friendlies against Warrington, sadly too many injuries stopped him before he even got started.
Craigie is the ultimate isn't he? Touted as the best kid of his generation, better than Johns et al. If you read his story, it's sad that he had demons he couldn't get over which denied him the career he should have had. The Bradford game where he singled handedly beat them is his Widnes highlight.
Agree with the comments of Lawton, Watts and it certainly comes down to an attitude thing. It's a huge talking point, a player can have limited ability but have a good career due to his attitude (Richie Mathers is a good example) but talented players throw it all away. I had the privilege to speak to Andy Farrell not too long ago who said the best lad he'd seen as a junior by a mile was Stefan Marsh, so I'd add him to this.
Brian Noble once said rugby league was 10% ability and 90% attitude, and I'd agree with that. There's a huge challenge for coaches to help with this when they're mid-teens, but ultimately there's only so much the lad will achieve if his attitude is poor.