North’s definition didn’t ask for my opinion but here it is.
They need to stop grabbing the offshoots of other Brisbane clubs (Fogarty, Oxford and Drahm) and invest in a young coach from an established Sydney club. Someone who is in their mid-twenties:thirty, maybe coached some juniors and colts and has merit and is willing to invest 5-10 years into a struggling club.
There is nothing wrong with the Brisbane blokes who but they all eventually realise it’s one bridge too far and end up going back to where they came from or onto another club. And I say a Sydney coach so they don’t have all the preconceived notions about how shit North’s are.
They need stability and a plan. The juniors seem to be performing well, need to transition them into colts and get some success there. When you can feed good colts into grades you get depth. Like Phil says it's a 5-10 year plan.
Good read DM.With the right personnel , that you then assume bring with them the right blueprint on how to win that entails fitting a strategic recruitment plan in and around that , I reckon Norths could be genuinely competitive in Colts and Grade within 3 to 4 seasons.
In terms of playing talent , I'm a believer in Harrison Fox and I'd be concentrating on developing he and Matt Wiltshire as lock prospects and Dane Zander (subject to his availability ) as the cornerstones of a forward pack. I'd (cautiously) nominate Brad Kuhn to be part of that mix as well if he commits to improving his conditioning.
In terms of a spine of young talent through the back line - it is disappointing that a quality Norths junior like Connor O'Regan ended up at Brothers . Ideally it would have been good to see him competing against Kalani Thomas (Souths ) Finn Hearn (UQ) as the best 18 to 19 year old 9's playing Colts 1 and putting pressure on for a Premier Grade spot with a bit more maturity and development.
Another Connor , Connor Scurr , a 19/20 year old Pats alum from memory, has versatility that is is worthwhile developing across the 10 and 15 spots.
Then there are guys , still only 19 to 20 that have fallen off the last couple of years for whatever reason - but perhaps with a common theme of discouragement or mistrust in the pathway system - whether it's another Norths junior like ex Nudgee's Ethan Robbins or ex Padua's Danny Heenan or ex Marist's Lachlan Tennison Woods - the latter two were genuine quality mid field talents just 2 years removed , whilst the former was a strong finishing outside back. What happened to Padua's Michael Cheer ? Is he still in Parramatta's sytem ?
I only throw some of these names out there as a means of example in thinking outside the box and how to re-connect networks and add a different layer to accumulating talent in the sub U20 age group ...I mean talent is talent ...it doesn't go away but for a whole host of unfortunate reasons at times it gets squandered and doesn't get adequately protected/nurtured.
And then there are boat loads of talent at Brothers and UQ playing 2's 3's and 4's where many of them could justifiably be playing 1's at most other Clubs. In UQ's case there are a bunch of young lads from the Country that attend UQ and live on Campus , so , there is a convenience factor but what a guy like ex TSS flanker , Hugh Robinson , is doing playing 3's and 4's at UQ is beyond me.
But ...when you hear where the class of 2020 is going next year ( surprise surprise probably 70% to 80% to ..UQ and Brothers again ) you think about a possible strategy of challenging them as a recruiter around competing against a wider competition rather than an internal competition which is way more limiting . And , if they just want to do the status /glam path then it probably tells you that you don't really want them anyway. The point being is maybe you got to challenge and attract the young fella that wants to compete and take on a much bigger responsibility in trying to build something rather than an easy magic carpet ride.
So yes there is much heavy lifting to be done - which perhaps needs to be extremely well thought out about who you want to be and then figure out how you build that . But not the silliest idea to first focus on investing in a set piece and then some play making prospects in halves / midfield.
Ball running Leaguies or Power Pacific Islanders are a dime a dozen , and overt focus on this aspect alone , has , and is , fucking Rugby royally at a grass roots level and all the way through the subsequent layers.
It has to be more than this just so that guys that have already been mentioned on this thread that either had an affiliation with Norths previously, or are proposed to , can feature superficially pleasing players ( but fundamentally limited ) and pimp 'em for dog shit contract coin.
Thing is , if you fall for that shit and let that type of guy in the door , then you really not progressing as a Rugby Club / Organisation and it's just death by a thousand cuts.
Some good points Dean - but I think three to four seasons isn't enough for such a turnaround which is why you really need someone committed to the long game.
It will take three years of good change for the club to start becoming a place players actually want to go. You mentioned blokes at other clubs playing 2s, 3s and 4s who could probably play Prems and that point is true, but I know from experience many would rather enjoy playing with their mates and winning games than just being able to say they play Prems. You need to convince them first to join and that will take a few years of positive action from the club.
From there you're probably looking at another 2-3 years of promising Colts finding their feet in big boy rugby (similar to Souths currently) and then you'll likely start reaping the rewards.
If Norths can find the right person (well really persons, it's a bigger job than one can handle I think) to seriously commit to making the club better and build that over a number of years, they can be competitive. As Jets mentioned they're in the right spot with a few different catchments that just need convincing that you can play there, win and be part of something good.
Souths are impressive with their club culture in the last 2 years. There are some great mentors who are putting in time with the junior players and it’s paying off. Likewise Easts are moving in a positive direction. The party scene over there was a big concern but the results speak for themselves.These are great discussions.
I have to say I have watched Souths from a far when they made changes a few years ago & it pains me to say - - they are doing a good job up against the bigger clubs.
They were last placed in 2017 in both Colts 1 & 2 from memory.
- Have not missed the finals since in Colts 1
- Won Colts 1 & 2 in 2019, which as was published is a club first
- 2020 played something like 10+ colts players in grades & still made top 4 In Colts 1
I am no Souths tragic, but it seems they are doing things right over there. I hope Norths for the sake of the competition can do the same.