-NEWS- How do you rebuild an NRL club if you can't sign – and keep – players?

I bleed Maroon

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It's a freebee article, so enjoy:

I have to admit, this problem is becoming more apparent than ever. It's pretty much impossible for perennial bottom dwellers like the Titans, Tigers and others to claw their way back up the ladder if they can't build a squad that they want without some bozo with some cap to throw around kicking the door in and stealing their lunch.

However, when it comes to making your club appealing to players, not only to sign them but to retain them long term as well, that is on the club. If you're running such a tinpot organization that even a League footballer with an I.Q of 80 can see they're buying in to a leaky boat, no amount of whinging is going to change their perception or anyone else's and all of a sudden, your club failing becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, which is exactly the dire future that the Titans are staring down the barrel of.
 
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Alec

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Pretty much every competition has those sides that are always making up the numbers and sides that are almost always in contention. Is it really a problem that can be fixed?
 

Sirlee oldman

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Yes it sucks to be them. The best thing about that article is that there is now an era in Rugby League called the Joe Kilroy days. Joe was exciting to watch but there were better players than him going around at the time. Just seems funny to pull his name out of the hat to describe that era.
 

Foordy

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you can't force players to want to play for you, it is as simple as that ... and no matter what system is in place, there will be team some players won't go to ...

IMO, the premise of this article is flawed ... he talks about going after players that would be a quick fix for these bottom 8 teams, but for some teams (like the Titans) a quick fix is not realistic...

They shouldn't be throwing money at the elite of the game and hope they can pull the club out of the mess they are in ... the problems with doing this is that you'll only really attract the mercenary type players that will jump ship the second you don't significantly outbid the competition and you can't build a clubs culture with those sorts of players ... it will also leave you short of funds to fill the other position you desperately need to fill.

the solution isn't to go for the quick fix, it is a longer term proposition ... go out and throw money at the best recruiters in the game ... have them search high and low for players talent rookies and give them a shot (i'm talking about who Arrow/Mitchell were several years ago) ... then use a money ball style system to surround them with under-valued veterans who can help lead these young kids and build/re-build the clubs culture ...

you won't win a comp this way, but you will transform your team into one that elite players want to play for and won't ask you to pay massive overs to get them
 
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Sirlee oldman

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you can't force players to want to play for you, it is as simple as that ... and no matter what system is in place, there will be team some players won't go to ...

IMO, the premise of this article is flawed ... he talks about going after players that would be a quick fix for these bottom 8 teams, but for some teams (like the Titans) a quick fix is not realistic...

They shouldn't be throwing money at the elite of the game and hope they can pull the club out of the mess they are in ... the problems with doing this is that you'll only really attract the mercenary type players that will jump ship the second you don't significantly outbid the competition and you can't build a clubs culture with those sorts of players ... it will also leave you short of funds to fill the other position you desperately need to fill.

the solution isn't to go for the quick fix, it is a longer term proposition ... go out and throw money at the best recruiters in the game ... have them search high and low for players talent rookies and give them a shot (i'm talking about who Arrow/Mitchell were several years ago) ... then use a money ball style system to surround them with under-valued veterans who can help lead these young kids and build/re-build the clubs culture ...

you won't win a comp this way, but you will transform your team into one that elite players want to play for and won't ask you to pay massive overs to get them
Yep. Great post.
 

I bleed Maroon

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you can't force players to want to play for you, it is as simple as that ... and no matter what system is in place, there will be team some players won't go to ...

IMO, the premise of this article is flawed ... he talks about going after players that would be a quick fix for these bottom 8 teams, but for some teams (like the Titans) a quick fix is not realistic...

They shouldn't be throwing money at the elite of the game and hope they can pull the club out of the mess they are in ... the problems with doing this is that you'll only really attract the mercenary type players that will jump ship the second you don't significantly outbid the competition and you can't build a clubs culture with those sorts of players ... it will also leave you short of funds to fill the other position you desperately need to fill.

the solution isn't to go for the quick fix, it is a longer term proposition ... go out and throw money at the best recruiters in the game ... have them search high and low for players talent rookies and give them a shot (i'm talking about who Arrow/Mitchell were several years ago) ... then use a money ball style system to surround them with under-valued veterans who can help lead these young kids and build/re-build the clubs culture ...

you won't win a comp this way, but you will transform your team into one that elite players want to play for and won't ask you to pay massive overs to get them
Great post, but this strategy may not work with rank and file fans. They don't want their side filled with veteran journeyman who are serviceable in their own way but won't win you comps. We live in the instant gratification era, it infects everything: social lives, work lives and entertainment e.g Sport. They want on field success now, and for a club like the Titans who are realistically just not going to achieve that (the current market for the Tits to even make the 8 next year is 5 dollars), it makes their lives all the harder. They cannot rebuild themselves into a force without the financial backing of a healthy fanbase. That obviously leads in to bigger questions surrounding the GC and sport but that's a whole other kettle of fish.
 

BroncsFan

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Great post, but this strategy may not work with rank and file fans. They don't want their side filled with veteran journeyman who are serviceable in their own way but won't win you comps. We live in the instant gratification era, it infects everything: social lives, work lives and entertainment e.g Sport. They want on field success now, and for a club like the Titans who are realistically just not going to achieve that (the current market for the Tits to even make the 8 next year is 5 dollars), it makes their lives all the harder. They cannot rebuild themselves into a force without the financial backing of a healthy fanbase. That obviously leads in to bigger questions surrounding the GC and sport but that's a whole other kettle of fish.
I think winning games starts to bring fan interest with them... if Holbrook gets them winning the star power will likely be generated automatically from Ash, AJ and in the future Tino.

Now more than ever it is about cultivating a culture from development players and money ball style and using recruitment to fill holes or adding star power as luxury buys to finish off the squad.

Unless you were able to recruit a Cameron Smith to build the whole squad around... I actually think teams are better off investing in their own, which is what the Broncos have done the last year or so
 
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Thelmus

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It has always been the broncos way to build a core and recruit for deficiencies. The Titans, unfortunately, recruit stars and try and fit up-and-coming players around them. By doing this they sometimes alienate good young players and leave them floundering in the lower grade or out of position, whilst the stars seem to have little serious competition as there is supposed "need" to get the most out of their "investment".
I think it is an unhealthy way to run a team, based on a CEO's effort to quickly turn around a club's financial predicament. I guess the thought is the fans will come and see the "stars".
What they really want to see is their guys giving it occasionally to the big boys down the road. Every time the Titans or Cowboys knocked off my Broncos, fans would pop out of the woodwork from everywhere to tell me so. You need to build a club's success on more than that, but a regional rivalry is a good place to start. Think of what it did to revive league in this state with the origin concept.
It doesn't mean they have to win every time but if they can at least compete and show grit, they would find themselves a few new fans if only for the anti-broncos sentiment out there. Maybe thats what tallis is trying do with his occassional outbursts? Could he be putting some "skin in the game" that way?
 
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lynx000

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Yes it sucks to be them. The best thing about that article is that there is now an era in Rugby League called the Joe Kilroy days. Joe was exciting to watch but there were better players than him going around at the time. Just seems funny to pull his name out of the hat to describe that era.
Standard brand recognition principles being applied, he has a more well known and recognised name. If they were to call it the Campbell Zulu Dews era or the Mark Graham era, most people would not know what they were talking about.
 

lynx000

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you can't force players to want to play for you, it is as simple as that ... and no matter what system is in place, there will be team some players won't go to ...

IMO, the premise of this article is flawed ... he talks about going after players that would be a quick fix for these bottom 8 teams, but for some teams (like the Titans) a quick fix is not realistic...

They shouldn't be throwing money at the elite of the game and hope they can pull the club out of the mess they are in ... the problems with doing this is that you'll only really attract the mercenary type players that will jump ship the second you don't significantly outbid the competition and you can't build a clubs culture with those sorts of players ... it will also leave you short of funds to fill the other position you desperately need to fill.

the solution isn't to go for the quick fix, it is a longer term proposition ... go out and throw money at the best recruiters in the game ... have them search high and low for players talent rookies and give them a shot (i'm talking about who Arrow/Mitchell were several years ago) ... then use a money ball style system to surround them with under-valued veterans who can help lead these young kids and build/re-build the clubs culture ...

you won't win a comp this way, but you will transform your team into one that elite players want to play for and won't ask you to pay massive overs to get them
Spot on, great post.
 

Morepudding

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The issue for the titans is how few juniors they get. If you look at their squad, half their team are past broncos, and then the titans buy them off us at an inflated cost (Taylor, Jai Arrow, Wallace etc.). Now, whilst Arrow went to another level at the titans, he has never struck me as a particularly loyal player and was always going to follow the money, and success. From reports, Titans and Rabbitohs offered him similar money, but at the rabbits he will be more likely to succeed.

The titans need to stop buying players from other clubs. They have Ash Taylor, peachy, Boyd, Cartwright, Wallace, Proctor all on big money that they have bought from another club. Who are their juniors? do they have any? Because arguably two of the best forwrds in the game (Haas and Fifita) and one of the more promising halves (dearden) all went to school about a 20 minute drive from their stadium.
 
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The Strapper

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Who are their juniors? do they have any? Because arguably two of the best forwrds in the game (Haas and Fifita) and one of the more promising halves (dearden) all went to school about a 20 minute drive from their stadium.
SSSSHHHH
Don’t make a big deal of this or one day the titans might wise up and that channel of players for us will dry up. 🤫
 

Wolfie

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Its going to be a fairly long process for them really. They need probably, as Foordy Foordy said, need to recruit a core group of just solid, reliable NRL performers in their mid 20's, a few battle hardened veterans alongside some promising kids. A couple of calculated gambles from Super league or ISC and they could have a good platform to build on. If they can pick up the right star player alongside them, then that would be good for them. What they need to do is put the players character and whether they fit into the ethos they want to build over ability.
 

Morkel

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Until they can string a couple of finals' appearances together in a row, they won't attract anything but steeled League fans who have lived on the coast long enough to remember the Seagulls & Giants. With their demographic, luring Hayne was a good idea that turned out badly. He was an elite when he left, even after bulking up, he should have been dangerous on his return, but short of effectively beating the Storm on his own in one game, he'd lost what made him so good - passion. He gave a shit about the Eels so he was motivated to perform. For the Coast, he was nothing but a mercenary - I have a sneaking suspicion the NRL had a hand in facilitating his signing with the Coast - and it was obvious he didn't give a shit about them.

They should have learned from it. Instead, they followed that up with bad ideas that would always end badly. Peachey and Cartwright, who are very talented players but both absolute morons. At least Peachey puts in some effort, and his high-risk high-reward style can look good for a game or two a season. But Cartwright is just a gutless, lazy, disinterested player. Both are style over substance, and the Titans paid way more than they were worth, and are indicative of everything wrong with how the Titans are run.

So I completely agree. The need to build a grinding team in order to be taken as anything but a spoon-level team that only exists because the NRL want them to. Arrow was the type of player they needed, even at a decent price, so it's a massive loss for them. They need to buy a bunch of solid, defence-geared forwards to balance the powder-puff flash that they've blown their load over.
 

I bleed Maroon

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Until they can string a couple of finals' appearances together in a row, they won't attract anything but steeled League fans who have lived on the coast long enough to remember the Seagulls & Giants. With their demographic, luring Hayne was a good idea that turned out badly. He was an elite when he left, even after bulking up, he should have been dangerous on his return, but short of effectively beating the Storm on his own in one game, he'd lost what made him so good - passion. He gave a shit about the Eels so he was motivated to perform. For the Coast, he was nothing but a mercenary - I have a sneaking suspicion the NRL had a hand in facilitating his signing with the Coast - and it was obvious he didn't give a shit about them.

They should have learned from it. Instead, they followed that up with bad ideas that would always end badly. Peachey and Cartwright, who are very talented players but both absolute morons. At least Peachey puts in some effort, and his high-risk high-reward style can look good for a game or two a season. But Cartwright is just a gutless, lazy, disinterested player. Both are style over substance, and the Titans paid way more than they were worth, and are indicative of everything wrong with how the Titans are run.

So I completely agree. The need to build a grinding team in order to be taken as anything but a spoon-level team that only exists because the NRL want them to. Arrow was the type of player they needed, even at a decent price, so it's a massive loss for them. They need to buy a bunch of solid, defence-geared forwards to balance the powder-puff flash that they've blown their load over.
This is true, which is why we should be watching our backs. Our front row stocks are ripe to be picked apart by the Tits, especially Fifita.
 

Wolfie

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This is true, which is why we should be watching our backs. Our front row stocks are ripe to be picked apart by the Tits, especially Fifita.
I dont think we have too many worries tbh. Most of our guys are locked up for a few years. I think they will be shopping in a different market.
 

Thelmus

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I agree the problem with the titans is junior development. The question is why?
The Melbourne play out of a non-league state and recruit from thousands of km's away.
If I was running that club the first thing I'd do is to start building a recruitment team worthy of the name and start headhunting it's leader from either the storm or the roosters.
 

badyon

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The NRL has one of the highest percentages for different teams to win the competition, in the 21st century, of any professional sporting league anywhere in the world.

It's something like 75% of teams in the comp have won the competition since the turn of the century.

Compare NFL at around 35%.
EPL, I think only 5 teams have won it this century.
AFL is around 50%.

Pretty much if you can't win in the NRL you're doing something really wrong.

On the flipside, it also speaks to the lack of loyalty in the game, and the "flukiness" of the game in general has become. Fouls can cruel possession and outcomes much more than other games.
 

Marty Deutschmann

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you can't force players to want to play for you, it is as simple as that ... and no matter what system is in place, there will be team some players won't go to ...

IMO, the premise of this article is flawed ... he talks about going after players that would be a quick fix for these bottom 8 teams, but for some teams (like the Titans) a quick fix is not realistic...

They shouldn't be throwing money at the elite of the game and hope they can pull the club out of the mess they are in ... the problems with doing this is that you'll only really attract the mercenary type players that will jump ship the second you don't significantly outbid the competition and you can't build a clubs culture with those sorts of players ... it will also leave you short of funds to fill the other position you desperately need to fill.

the solution isn't to go for the quick fix, it is a longer term proposition ... go out and throw money at the best recruiters in the game ... have them search high and low for players talent rookies and give them a shot (i'm talking about who Arrow/Mitchell were several years ago) ... then use a money ball style system to surround them with under-valued veterans who can help lead these young kids and build/re-build the clubs culture ...

you won't win a comp this way, but you will transform your team into one that elite players want to play for and won't ask you to pay massive overs to get them
Funny thing was.. Titans were doing just that until Hayne arrived.

Coach didn't want him as it didn't fit their new culture.. but the money hungry board members forced the coach into taking him on because Hayne would "put bums on seats"

Hayne eventually eroded and burnt up all the good will and spirit that team had at the time.

Now, he's gone, coach fired because of him and now they're another coach through, their superstar no where to be seen and their other was languishing on the sidelines battling poor confidence and pure lack of will to play.

They severely fucked up a good thing. The whole "bums on seats" now is something they were building towards ironically prior to Hayne because they were winning..now, they're at risk of having their licence to play NRL revoked.
 
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