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Shute Shield 2021

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
I read somewhere that the Panthers stockpile enough players to fill four or five Flegg sides. As for being a better option for their development, I suspect that for many of these kids and their families they are motivated as much, or more, by the money they can earn from a ridiculously early age if they commit to league.

I have said this before: we have to set realistic objectives. We simply cannot compete head on with league, particularly in NSW.
We have to play to our strengths.

We definitely can't compete head on, but I would simply like us to provide and decent option for all kids - particularly those who started in rugby. Nor could rugby ever have 9 pro or even semi-pro teams in Sydney, but having by having just one we effectively deal ourselves out of the game. The answer is somewhere in between.
 

Pfitzy

David Wilson (68)
My club, Eastwood, arguably has the most to gain if the three strugglers are kicked out, and yet we are strongly resisting the move against them.


The Woods already have a full complement of teams, do they not? I suppose the quality of the roster at any club could be bolstered if players become available, but it is drops in the lake on what they already have.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
An interesting article in today's SMH "Mayor's disgust at 'Shield elitism'". The Mayor of Cumberland City Council fulminating about the potential removal of Parra, West Harbour, and Penrith from the SS.

Apparently the Council has spent $13.5 mill transforming Granville Park into "an international standard stadium and rugby field".

My club, Eastwood, arguably has the most to gain if the three strugglers are kicked out, and yet we are strongly resisting the move against them.

My own personal opinion is a bit conflicted. I have said it before: like it or not, the SS is built primarily on community support. No community support, or not enough community support, and no SS. RA will never be in a strong enough financial position to support all the club competitions throughout Australia. How many clubs would there be? 100? 200? How much would each club need? The numbers are mind-blowing.

Parramatta was, for many years, a very strong club. Then for a few years they were actually sponsored by Parramatta Leagues Club (thanks, Dennis Fitzgerald). West Harbour should be able to survive, their territory is pretty up market. Penrith really needs sponsorship by the Panthers, they should be making overtures. Semi-pro rugby is no threat to a huge and highly successful NRL conglomeration like the Panthers.

It's a major problem and one which the SS clubs in question simply can't solve on their own. At a time in history where brand recognition is everything, I'm not sure that dropping the name Parramatta for the WSTB was the right way to go. Whether we like it or not, the names that the punters - casual fans, former players/fans and the great sporting public are old-fashioned and represent both history and geography.

I'm not sure for example that having a West Harbour and a Western Sydney Two Blues playing in the same competition is terribly smart from a marketing perspective either.

When I grew up playing juniors in Manly, the two strongest opponents we had a the state championships every 2 years (it was played only for the even age groups back in the day) were Parramatta and St George. Both steeped in history and recognised everywhere where either league or union are played. I understand why changes have been made - in both cases for good purposes, but maybe a rethink is required.

Anyway such weighty matters are beyond my capacity to control, so in the meantime all I can do is enjoy the rugby and hope against hope that something happens to reverse the spiral in which we find ourselves.
 

Pfitzy

David Wilson (68)
This is the issue that has forced the SRU to act. Penrith doesn't have a reserve Grade and the Reserve grade from the Two Blues have just forfeited for the third time, which I believe means they are finished for the season. The Western Sydney clubs have the right to be disappointed but they also need to develop a more sustainable model given they are both only putting out 1 senior team.


There is a need for better management of the clubs - I think everyone would like the luxury of getting more professional in the back office.

At the same time, how do you fix the problem if strong Western Sydney Junior clubs - and teenage rep sides - can't get their 16s through to Colts and then Seniors because:
  1. League will target the best in the 14-15 age group with the promise of contracts
  2. Schools will make offers to those hitting their straps around 16-18
  3. Eastern Suburbs clubs will have a pick as well once the best of them get to Colts age.
What mechanism can be introduced to stop the erosion?

The Two Blues U18 side who played at State Champs had several guys approached after the tournament; Eastern Suburbs clubs with a more-than-casual interest, but not much else offered.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
There is a need for better management of the clubs - I think everyone would like the luxury of getting more professional in the back office.

At the same time, how do you fix the problem if strong Western Sydney Junior clubs - and teenage rep sides - can't get their 16s through to Colts and then Seniors because:
  1. League will target the best in the 14-15 age group with the promise of contracts
  2. Schools will make offers to those hitting their straps around 16-18
  3. Eastern Suburbs clubs will have a pick as well once the best of them get to Colts age.
What mechanism can be introduced to stop the erosion?


The Two Blues U18 side who played at State Champs had several guys approached after the tournament; Eastern Suburbs clubs with a more-than-casual interest, but not much else offered.

I suspect that it's difficult, if not impossible, to control where amateur players go. The only solution which I can see is for the NSWRU and/or RA step in and provide support to clubs like Parramatta and Penrith so that people have no motivation to leave.

horse.PNG
 

Sheepie

Allen Oxlade (6)
Does anybody have any updates on whether fixtures will be played tomorrow? I just received an Eastwood email that seems to think we will be hosting the Marlins. Here's hoping..


My last reply said all going ahead. But 4 LGA's are now getting stay-at-home orders (aka lockdowns) for anyone who lives in or works in those LGA's including Randwick, Sydney City, Woollahra and Waverly. This will HUGELY affect the Shute Shield.

Awaiting official word from the Shield & clubs.
 

sendit

Bob Loudon (25)
It’s a pretty simple fix

Unless you live in a clubs LGA, you can’t play for them.

If you want to extend it a bit, you can also play for the club if you work in the area but need to have worked there for 1-2 years to ensure clubs just aren’t setting people up with jobs left right and centre

Give every club X amount of marquee players this doesn’t apply to, let the bottom 4 teams every year have an additional X marquee signings

You aren’t going to stop kids going to League, just isn’t going to happen. What you can control is other Shute Shields picking western Sydney teams dry. Also ensures teams like Easts & Uni with shit junior investment actually start having a proper crack & teams like WH and Parra are rewarded for their good junior numbers
 

John S

Alex Ross (28)
It’s a pretty simple fix

Unless you live in a clubs LGA, you can’t play for them.

If you want to extend it a bit, you can also play for the club if you work in the area but need to have worked there for 1-2 years to ensure clubs just aren’t setting people up with jobs left right and centre

Give every club X amount of marquee players this doesn’t apply to, let the bottom 4 teams every year have an additional X marquee signings

You aren’t going to stop kids going to League, just isn’t going to happen. What you can control is other Shute Shields picking western Sydney teams dry. Also ensures teams like Easts & Uni with shit junior investment actually start having a proper crack & teams like WH and Parra are rewarded for their good junior numbers


The only problem with that is that it forces people to either stay where they live, or join a new club that may have limited playing spots available to new people if they want to play in the SS. I can't see too many people liking that "choice"

I get where it's coming from though.
 

sendit

Bob Loudon (25)
The only problem with that is that it forces people to either stay where they live, or join a new club that may have limited playing spots available to new people if they want to play in the SS. I can't see too many people liking that "choice"

I get where it's coming from though.


yea i totally get it

But at the end of the day its a high level rep competition and we can't seem to have a gentlemen's agreement where we don't fuck each other over with poaching so something a bit drastic needs to happen
 

Pfitzy

David Wilson (68)
I've said elsewhere that it can be done if a few things happen:

1) Establish a semipro competition with broadcast rights
2) Funding is split equally between clubs for player rosters ONLY - audited and capped
3) Sponsors etc can contribute to the other areas of the club such as ops and facilities
4) If you have a player who is local product*, you get salary cap exemptions
5) Squad of 28 seniors, with 25 Colts (U21) as a ready reserve
6) All other players go into a Premier Division with full promotion/relegation to Subbies 1st Division.

*Definition TBA but something obvious like played at a club in your region and lives in postcodes XXXX-YYYY

After that you need to look at the structures between Premier and Subbies in order to help feed talent both ways and keep more players in the game.

Thing is you're going to have some Subbies players and clubs who want no part of the Premier comp, because they're happy where they are.

One thing is beyond certain: certain large clubs in Sydney, who warehouse talent because it suits them, are hurting the game.
 

wamberal

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
One thing is beyond certain: certain large clubs in Sydney, who warehouse talent because it suits them, are hurting the game.

Being "warehoused" must suit their players as well. Success begets success, of course. The more successful clubs are more likely to attract supporters, sponsors, volunteers, and so on, which also leads to yet more success.


I hate to admit it, but if I were a young fella with a lot of talent I would be much more likely to rock up to one of the established clubs. Not only because they probably have better facilities of all kinds, but also because they are in the parts of Sydney that I would prefer to live in.

And if I were a young fella with a lot of talent I would almost certainly have had offers from the more successful clubs.
 

mst

Ken Catchpole (46)
Being "warehoused" must suit their players as well. Success begets success, of course. The more successful clubs are more likely to attract supporters, sponsors, volunteers, and so on, which also leads to yet more success.


I hate to admit it, but if I were a young fella with a lot of talent I would be much more likely to rock up to one of the established clubs. Not only because they probably have better facilities of all kinds, but also because they are in the parts of Sydney that I would prefer to live in.

And if I were a young fella with a lot of talent I would almost certainly have had offers from the more successful clubs.

Is this right here not the core issue? The fact that this is / was supposed to be a amateur game and clubs are buy and paying players, in essence, to "buy" results?

IMHO it's fair to "support" players to help them play (within reason), but the fact that's it beyond that, unregulated and to the detriment of the other clubs and the overall competion your playing is ridiculous. Personally it find it t hard to believe they are so naïve to let this happen, and continue to happen.

IMHO, other sports / competions use it far more intelligently. If you head out to regional areas in Victoria (etc - many AFL areas), small regional towns use it to attract players (with the support and help of the bigger clubs and the competion). The bigger team don't use it much so they don't draw down the pool of player and effectively implode the competion as team / clubs lose players, supporters, then clubs simply die off. It amazing to see a clubs roll out at least 2x senior teams in a town with a population of a few hundred (or less). These team are usually heavily community supported. The large clubs could easily "fund" success, but it would be at the cost of the game as less clubs is less players, less sponsors etc. One of my boys has gone through this scenario and sought permission (after being approached by a few clubs) to be a compensated player at a smaller club (1.5hrs down the road) and was supported by his primary club for a set period. It can help build numbers, spread talent and lift the standard of the competion. It also provides variety for players.

I get young players would be tempted; that's a given and part of the issue. It tempts those who would be making up the numbers at those other clubs, to want to leave.

Correct, the success does beget success; until its the battle of a very few well cashed up clubs in a niche boutique competion that hold relevance to only to a select few. IMHO its almost here.
 

The Honey Badger

Jim Lenehan (48)
If ever there was a little bit of surplus cash in the system, say the value of 1 average pro player, maybe $300K

Would love to see say 20 X 15K starter contracts for players leaving school and entering colts. Just a bit of help to get some good young talent started in rugby and staying in rugby.

Only catch would be these players are directed to the struggling clubs.
 

I like to watch

David Codey (61)
If ever there was a little bit of surplus cash in the system, say the value of 1 average pro player, maybe $300K

Would love to see say 20 X 15K starter contracts for players leaving school and entering colts. Just a bit of help to get some good young talent started in rugby and staying in rugby.

Only catch would be these players are directed to the struggling clubs.
You would just be paying $15k to kids that would be doing it anyway
 

Adam84

Tony Shaw (54)
If I’m a young kid and am offered the choice then I’m going to one of the successful clubs in the east.

These clubs offer better facilities, better programs(resources, coaching, medical staff etc), extensive alumni network(i.e. jobs while playing/post) and more likely to be in a winning team which helps the individuals push for a professional contract.

It’s a difficult cycle to break, a salary cap would help but obviously the clubs need the money to start with.
 
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