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Selection Politics at Schoolboy Level

Discussion in 'Schoolboy Rugby' started by straightshooter, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. straightshooter

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    Seems to me that every junior sport including our game is full of politics - Coach knows that kid, his father (maybe the mother Ha Ha Ha) - parents constantly in-touch with coach, selectors or are selectors and / or coaches.

    Seems a shame that selections are not based purely on talent with some other criteria like effort, committment, dedication, ability etc etc

    Personally think selectors generally get it right but there are always a contentious selection or 2 or 3 in each schoolboy team (whether scool 13's - Firsts - GPS - QLD 1 and 2, Australia and Australia A)

    Thoughts ??????
  2. chief John Solomon (38)

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    Yeah it happens a lot. In numerous schools first XV squads players who certainly don't deserve to be in there are selected purely because of their last name. I'm not saying Faulkner is a bad player or anything but how do you think he got a call up for the tour of England? Because people talk to the selectors, I don't think the selectors even came and watched him play.

    Sometimes its positive other times its negative. A lot of the time its about who you know and what they thought about you.
  3. straightshooter

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    BUT so terribly bad for that player who deserved to be chosen - awfully de-motivating i reckon

    Classic case at moment is young Cayden Matahare - great young kid - but "they" caught up to him - and he was continually selected because of reputation and not what he did on the pitch. Other 5/8 should have and would have been rather pi--ed
  4. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    If you had seen the Aust centres at Ballymore against the NZers you would have called for Faulkner as well. Apparently he had a mediocre tournament in Sydney but those that know him rate him highly and he is a great(er) line breaker that the 2 we saw last week.

    The 10 from WA is also a mystery as is the fullback situation. If the NTS picked the sides it would be markedly different. They are rightly peeved at the way schoolteachers pick teams based on short term razamataz and not long term substance. Felsman's meltdown after the bell shows that clearly. Many kids look good but don't have the work regimine or the toughness in a tight match. It's not in a 50 point rout that you select your players., it's the tight 5 pointers with 5 to go that shows who the good players are and unfortunately the schoolteachers just don't get to learn the players that well. They only see them for a few games and have to make a valued judgement based on that. The NTS should have a greater say - maybe even a veto right.
  5. chief John Solomon (38)

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    I think Faulkner deserved a call up, but what I'm saying is that it obviously occurs because selectors wouldn't have called him up if they hadn't heard about him.

    Godwin is a good player, was the form #10 in Sydney for his tournament. He had a poor game for Aus A. But his game for Aus was slightly more impressive then Saifioli's.
  6. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    The selectors would have seen Faulkner in Sydney but he didnt stand out. I am sure coach Nowlan knows his potential though.
    As for Godwin - again is more than capable in a free situation however he showed he is not solid in a pressure situation and his decision making was quite poor. Saifolo is by far the more solid player under pressure but lacks a certain x factor.

    My point is, the NTS work with the kids all year, some for a number of years and they above all else know who are the better players. They are not so taken with razamataz but long term committment and abilities and where the players are going in terms of development and potential.

    There is no denying the school selections do have an agenda and some players are selected on the basis of 'evening up' the representation from the minor states. I can't repeat the comment or who made it but there was such a strong approach even in the selection of the Qld teams - to the point of being ridiculous and blatantly political.

    I would hazzard a say that the Qld GPS A team would have put up a far better representation against the NZ schools team than did the Combined Aus to the point I and others believe they could have won..

    In real rugby, I thought we got rid of that parocialness years ago and it is about time the ARU/State Unions in conjunction with the NTS had more of a say in the selections..
  7. TOCC Guest

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    polictics in schoolboys has been around forever, i remember a little issue a few years ago, it was when Luke Mclean and Ben Lucas were going through the grades, ask a lot of people an Luke Mclean was a better player but he just doesnt carry the same 'bloodline' that Ben Lucas has. Lucas was chosen ahead of Mclean on numerous occasions, these days Mclean is the Italian 5/8 and Ben Lucas is arguably the 3rd choice halfback at the Reds.

    Same again as to why Ben Lucas's younger brother has picked up a academy contract when really there were far better players out there in more crucial positions who should have earned a contract.
  8. straightshooter

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    Ah-hem "they" say that James O'connor's younger brother, John (Johnny, Bunny whatever) is set to score a well deserved Force Academy spot after he repeats at Southport next year. believe it has nothing to do with the fabled one's re-signing at the Force or one of the conditions pertaining thereto. having that said the younger John was the best attacking back at Southport in 2009 season - can break the line and will back himself and played seconds most of year.

    It really is good to see that cronyism etc etc etc is alive and well and that players only get "there" by dedication, motivation, skill and ability. it must really pi-s other kiddies off.

    Never saw McLean play (so take your word TOCC) but Ben has progressed to be third string - McLean to be pissed for sure ! Young Matt will probably be found out once he gets to play with the big boys - tough little blighter who can tackle but has some passing and other problems that together with the size factor (very very relevant) will make it just about a foregone conclusion of being dropped away from the Academy in a year or two. If the Reds and Force and NTS are serious start being OBJECTIVE and not SUBJECTIVE about players - it sometimes just perpetuates the joke
  9. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    Give me a break. of course he looked good. He was in 2nds for the year. Whenever he came on in 1st's he was totally innefective.
    Oh I get it - you were making a joke - sorry.
  10. Geronimo

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    I believe that you are being a tad harsh here TOCC, in fact I think you are dribbling a bit. Luke McLean is a fair footy player but i would like to know who rates him that highly. Ben Lucas played for Aust A and Luke played a couple of times for Italy. Big Deal!! I haven't seen much of his younger brother but I was very impressed the couple of times that I have seen him.
  11. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    I would have to agree withthe G Man there - Mat Lucas is going on tour but certainly not as the No 1 halfback - Sturzacker cenented that spot. Mat was in tight competition with Hanlon but won out on a great defensive display particularly at TSS against playing in the Aust A side against NZ.
    I don't think there are too many better halfbacks around at that level and he is certainly in the top three.
  12. chief John Solomon (38)

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    I do have to say, the upcoming 9's do look good. Hanlon was very good, Lucas was very good, and Stirkinzner was just as good. Would have been a very hard selection.
  13. Geronimo

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    That's a fair call RW, I think that Hanlon is very handy (I may be a biased TSS) with the ball in hand but like Burgess he hesitates sometimes and his passing suffers as a result. They can work on that. it's interesting that there are calls for the NTS and academy to get involved in selections, so I did some homework and Matt Lucas has been with the NTS for a couple of years. Sometimes people get too critical of selections, these boys have obviously trained hard over a number of years to get where they have only to get someone denigrate their efforts over an anonymous forum. I understand that everyone has the right to an opinion TOCC, but let's not get like the other forum.
  14. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    I can't see this happening even though most level headed people agree. The teachers havetheir own little power trip and they do NOT take kindly to the NTS input no matter how correct or logical it may be. NTS will be represented but the teachers still make their own choices. To their credit, the NTS do not give up on putting forward those they know worthy and generally the NTS are proven correct, if not immediately then over time.
    The only way ot can happen is if the state and national union put their foot down and have something over the schools selectors unless sanity prevails - again - not going to happen so we put up with the problem.
  15. straightshooter

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    Whispers,
    trouble is even NTS powerbrokers or selectors or whomever are also prone to choose players they 'like" sometimes I am sure that equates to unfair selections into the NTS.

    Just because NTS is an ARU group it doesn't mean that they are always right just as school teachers are not always right. - they can all push their own barrows from time to time

    It just is a shame that total objectivity doesn't reign supreme for the good of the game - but then we are then talking about a perfect world :eek:
  16. Lance Free Arch Winning (36)

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    I guess there's a subtle difference in what the aims of both the NTS and the schools are about, which impacts upon what you're talking about.

    And that is the difference between potential and form. The NTS (presumably) select players who they think have the potential to go onto higher honours and try to develop them accordingly. Many of the players are included in the program for some years.

    School coaches are selecting players to perform at the time (or shortly thereafter) and form is probably the most significant determinant. That's not to say that both of these attributes are not factors to some degree in either of their selections.

    There were a number of NTS players who weren't selected in any of the Queensland Schoolboys sides this year. That would have been more about form, not necessarily ability, potential, bias or incompetent selections.

    NTS is operated by professional rugby coaches/administraters so you'd think the expertise levels were fairly high. Conversely, some school coaches are professional rugby people doing it for a living such as Tom Barker at Churchie and former All Black Craig Green at BBC.

    So I think there is this obvious difference between the two organisations and what they're about. Selections are always controversial and as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We all have our own ideas and coaches are no different. I guess the Queensland selectors substantially got it right in their QLD 1 selections this year.
  17. Geronimo

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    Quality input Lance, I believe you have hit the nail on the head. Slightly different agendas for both but hopefully similar outcomes
  18. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    Yeah not a too shaby response -\
    however in their search for 'form' occasionally the school selectors opt for a player who might look good on the day whereas the NTS people have had a much longer look at him (or her - we are not sexist here) and are aware of some other inconsistencies that might come out - and that player for those reasons may not be selected if the NTS had more of a say.

    As for straitshooters comment - i don't know of too many players in the NTS who have too many flaws - fitness maybe for some, but most have skills that could see them progress to higher levels. I don't agree there are unfair NTS selections - just those who haven't proven themselves yet. Once you are in if you don't perform your tenure is in shaky ground at least.
  19. straightshooter

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    Whispers,
    has anybody ever been "dropped" from NTS squad
  20. Geronimo

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    I can tell you the answer to that..Yes. While I was at the selection trials there were two boys who I was told were picked in the NTS but failed to attend all the sessions without reason and were dropped. One of them progressed into one of the QLD teams. It would be unfair to mention names

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