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Post Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:29 pm
Morning Glory Free-scoring winger
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Its being reported on loverugbyleague.com that Leigh East are now strongly in favour of a return to winter rugby (club chairman). It also says that the Barla NWC has put back its start dates to allow as many clubs as possible to re-join such is the interest being shown by clubs who are currently playing summer.

I'm aware of Golborne reverting back from the NWML Premier league with another couple rumoured to be considering it but this is the 1st time I've seen a direct quopte from an NCL club chairman strongly in favour of reverting back. I work with the chairman of a very prominent NCL club (top division) and he tells me they're also looking at reverting back to winter for the same reasons as Easts, loss of revenue.

Is this something that's being discussed at your club? If so what's the general consensus?
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Post Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:16 am
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It hasn't been discussed at our club yet. We went straight from winter to summer without a break and I'm not sure we could go straight back into another winter season even if we wanted to (although I appreciate that teams have already withdrawn from summer to have a break)!

I'm not sure that three months in is really enough time to assess the summer option and the weather hasn't really been summery! We have struggled and had issues and it does worry me that things could only get worse if the weather improves but until it does it would only be speculation! With the main holiday season about to start we will soon see how it will affect us but without completing a season I don't see how anyone can make a decision on it's viability - especially with the weather throwing at us more than we ever had in winter!
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Post Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:46 am
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Very knee jerk reaction from the clubs IMO, it was always going to be tough playing back to back seasons, if they do this again you'll have the same problems in the Winter

Sounds like typical BARLA propaganda to me, there's always a snipe at Summer or the RFL in every press release, its just not needed
Post Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:45 pm
bowes Silver RLFANS Member
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The clubs rumoured to be going back tend to be the ones struggling (though Golborne are a decent side, Higginshaw were struggling to raise a team, also are Rylands going winter or folded?). The NWCL could get a 2nd division but conversely could lose clubs to the Pennine League who are expansion driven (Hollinwood have already switched).

5 NCL clubs have inquired about a return to winter and BARLA have brought up their BARLA Conference idea (much to the Pennine League's annoyance no doubt). No idea if that will happen but the NCL have lots of applicants (18) but don't know how many meet criteria.

Incidentally for me this is the worst summer season for weather. I think the test will be how good next year is.
Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:25 pm
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A lot of teams coming straight from winter without a break were always going to struggle initially with players needing a break as is the case after any season, I think once this first season is over and players have had a break from the game they will be keen to get back playing at the start of the playing season.

There also seems to be an issue with the leagues with the structure not being right possibly this is down to clubs asking to play a level they weren't ready for, this in turn has caused some of the 24-0 results.

There may be some sides leaving but it is believed that Warrington Wizards will ask to join the premier division from next season maybe to replace Golborne who were going to struggle anyway and have just took the easy option of moving to a league they will be able to win easily every week.

It was never going to be decided in year 1 that summer rugby was going to be a success and the same arguments are still there that have been discussed over the past few years
Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:46 pm
bowes Silver RLFANS Member
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The NCL will add another division so I expect a lot of new clubs will be from NW Men's (there's 18 applicants) but yeah Wizards would be a good addition to premier.
Post Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:20 pm
Morning Glory Free-scoring winger
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I understand the issues regarding players going straight from winter to summer, my club has exactly the same problems. But, Ithink there are a number of worrying issues with the Easts statement.

Firstly it comes from such a high profile, respected NCL club & one that is financially stable & very well run. Secondly the NCL clubs were the driving force behind last years switch in the 1st place. Thirdly, and the way I read it, its off field income thats the problem not lack of players or income from playing rostas i.e. an empty clubhouse bar on gamedays.

I wonder if other NCL clubs are in the same boat and may now 'break cover' regarding the switch. Afterall the amatuer game is very much guided by what the NCL clubs do.
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Post Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:00 am
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Our ref at the weekend tried telling us that 75 clubs were going back to winter.

That Leigh East statement is understandable, and holidays and other events were always going to be an issue in terms of spectators. Of course, that's if your club is lucky enough to have a clubhouse with a bar. Only a few clubs we visit are in that position - that vast majority of us play on a rented pitch and go to a local pub afterwards. And most of us don't have floodlights to train under in the winter. Crowd numbers simply aren't an issue.

Winter was ok for us but player numbers were down (we struggled for 17 most weeks), training was extremely difficult and grim in poor lighting and conditions and with poor numbers, and around 7-8 games were postponed every year due to the weather.

Summer has meant a boost in player numbers (we've run 2 teams some weekends), brilliant training conditions in daylight and great numbers, and only 1 game postponed due to the freak rain we've been having. And that's without the cost of hiring a floodlit area.

Each club can only make a decision based on what's best for them. Some will prefer summer, some will prefer winter, but BARLA's constant moaning that clubs were 'coerced' into playing summer is getting embarrassing. They were given the options and allowed to make their own decision.

This first season was ALWAYS going to see a few issues as things settled in. Teams were always going to go through changes as players moved around and new arrangements were made. Eventually I think some will end up going back to winter with the majority remaining in summer, and as the kids playing summer move into open-age that will grow.
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Post Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:04 pm
bowes Silver RLFANS Member
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To my knowledge the only clubs confirmed as returning to winter are Golborne Parkside, Higginshaw and Knottingley Rockware Stolze. Expect there will be more anything up to 5 from the NCL (though they may wait another year first) and say anything up to a dozen from NW? 75 is clearly nonsense.

Apparently the Leigh East chairman wants winter but his committee want summer. I expect they'll keep their 2 summer sides but retain their 3rd team in winter if enough players want it.
Post Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:10 pm
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bowes wrote:
The clubs rumoured to be going back tend to be the ones struggling (though Golborne are a decent side, Higginshaw were struggling to raise a team, also are Rylands going winter or folded?). The NWCL could get a 2nd division but conversely could lose clubs to the Pennine League who are expansion driven (Hollinwood have already switched).

5 NCL clubs have inquired about a return to winter and BARLA have brought up their BARLA Conference idea (much to the Pennine League's annoyance no doubt). No idea if that will happen but the NCL have lots of applicants (18) but don't know how many meet criteria.

Incidentally for me this is the worst summer season for weather. I think the test will be how good next year is.

The Pennine League are not against the BARLA conference and the winter seems to get along just fine during the siberian winter weather, and there is a lot more than just struggling clubs looking to switch back.
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