Junior development/Reserve grade & other musings

Discussion in 'Penrith Panthers' started by herbert henry1908, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. herbert henry1908

    herbert henry1908 Coach

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    Was thinking about how a few of our juniors don’t kick on in first grade, and I wonder if a part of the problem is the gap between Canterbury Cup & first grade?

    Once upon a time there was a genuine reserve grade, but now some of the best next generation players play up in the QLD Cup. From what I understand most good judges think the Queensland Cup is a fair bit better than the NSW Cup.



    So what’s the possible solutions?


    One big solution would be for the NRL to create a national second division. Personally I think this would work best if NRL teams had affiliate teams in the second division. This would allow the game to spread out a bit further into towns & regions that don’t always see decent footy.

    The Panthers seem to like doing everything in house, 3 grades and all that. But is this really the best solution? Look at the success the Melbourne Storm have had with using the Queensland Cup. I dare say those younger players might learn a bit more if they’re away from home. It’d be a good life experience, help their maturity.

    The panthers for instance could have their affiliate team based in Bathurst to help build on the connection we already have to the region.



    Now I concede the above is probably a fair way off. From what I’ve heard the QRL have always been resistant to a national second division, as it would basically mean the end of their comp.


    So barring that, what about the Panthers send a few select players to a QLD Cup team for a year or two? If it’s the better competition, those guys are going to be able to hit the ground running more easily when they get to first grade.


    I think this idea that we need to do it all in house with three grades is old school thinking, other clubs proven you don’t need to do that.
     
  2. betcats

    betcats Coach

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    i thinks it’s more to do with the kids themselves rather then the league set up.
     
  3. OldPanther

    OldPanther Coach

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    From what I've heard the game isn't that healthy at local level. Parents just aren't getting there kids into it at a reasonable rate.
     
  4. Aliceinwonderland

    Aliceinwonderland Juniors

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    Some interesting thoughts. I can recall (I think it was Gus) that remarked that only 2 or 3 kids out of a 100 make it to NRL status. It is a game thing not an NRL thing.

    NRL is for the elite.

    I've been following the game since the late 1960's. Only a few kids make the elite level. Otherwise it wouldn't be elite.
     
  5. herbert henry1908

    herbert henry1908 Coach

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    I get that, but we have a large junior nursery, so we should be producing more top level talent than other clubs. But that doesn’t appear to be the case.

    We produce a lot of handy footballers, but you can count on one hand the the amount of superstars we’ve had at our club. In 52 years of existence I’m not sure that’s good enough.
     
  6. herbert henry1908

    herbert henry1908 Coach

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    But our junior area is still one of the largest.

    Plus it’s not just juniors I’m talking about here, I mean the guys we recruit at 18/19 too. They could benefit from playing against better opposition before they get to first grade.
     
  7. herbert henry1908

    herbert henry1908 Coach

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    How do you mean?
     
  8. Fangs

    Fangs Bench

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    Something to be said about the players we let go. Off the top of my head I'd argue Matt Moylan and Michael Jennings are top draw in terms of talent in their positions.

    Then the other half is attitude. I don't think the Panthers are there yet as a business. We've made some serious steps and making the finals 4/5 years is a great start.

    I'm interested watching Melbourne right now, they are after all the benchmark. Only Smith left of the big 3. Have they really got the talent coming through in terms of the spine? Munster is a big yes but the jury is out in other positions. Going to be a telling 2020 for the Storm.
     
  9. betcats

    betcats Coach

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    Generally speaking not just talking about penrith here, it’s a lot easier to be committed and work hard and sacrifice when your a kid chasing a dream, when you hit 18, 19 20 and start getting paid(60k is a lot to a teen) start getting a name for yourself I think some kids start thinking they’ve made it before they have, attitude drops off a little and they fall away. Young guys don’t have to go off the rails for their lifestyles or attitude to negatively effect their abilities.

    I think also at the junior level the game just comes easy to some kids, they get picked in every team off the back of their natural gifts and they never build a work ethic. They hit the nrl where you have to work no matter how talented you are and they can’t adjust.

    And then you are always going to lose a few to alcohol, drugs, partying etc
     
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  10. OldPanther

    OldPanther Coach

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    The more you have the more competition there is for top spots and you have a higher ceiling for talent coming through. It's completely connected. Not the only issue though and I have no idea how to increase the quality of the comp.
     
  11. betcats

    betcats Coach

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    Well it comes down to your definition of superstar who makes the cut because that will vary a lot from person to person, as you say we produce lots of footballers of a decent level and I think a fair number have the talent level required to reach superstar status but there are so many variables that go into reaching that level IMO it’s very hard to say why we haven’t produced more real superstars, lack of professionalism at the club perhaps has contributed.
     
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  12. murraymob

    murraymob First Grade

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    Is having a large junior league a anchor rather than a v8 engine. Penrith Parramatta Newcastle how many comps has been won combined by the 3 in the last 10 years .Melbourne roosters no real junior leagues to lose money on spend it on recruitment. We have plenty of players right now in our lower grades who we can say will not get to first grade. They are there as juniors coming through the grades
     
  13. franklin2323

    franklin2323 Referee

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    Also those we keep. Often we choose the wrong guys. We are starting to see academy kids play I guess we will find out if that has an affect
     
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  14. franklin2323

    franklin2323 Referee

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    Junior League is flying. Lots of new clubs in new areas too. Pitt Town and Londonderry for example
     
  15. mxlegend99

    mxlegend99 Coach

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    I think the issue is our coaching staff at NRL level. Not just head coach. But everyone. Assistants. Training staff etc.

    We have the best juniors for the most part. We develop probably more NRL players than any team. But development stops upon hitting the NRL basically. I wouldn't blame our head coaches solely for it. But they're part of it. Put the players we develop into the Storm system instead of ours and almost all of them become the stars we expect them to be.

    If we kept all the guys who have been through our system at some point we would have guys like Andrew Fifita, Cody Walker, Damien Cook, Maiko Sivo, Braidon Burns etc. But none of them would probably be half the player they are today.

    Very few of our players improve with experience in the NRL. Their careers lind of stall at that level... when they all have the potential to be better than we saw.
     
  16. The Realist

    The Realist Juniors

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    We don't need to be directly linked to an QLD clubs. We can do what John Lang did back in 05 (I think) and go scouting. He scouted the Queensland Cup for some players and came back with;

    Michael Gordan
    Matthew Bell
    Maurice Blair

    That's not a bad haul in my opinion.

    We just need better talent scouts, Melbourne and to a lesser extent the Roosters always seem to be able to identify the right type of talent and develop them as well. They are great at it because they have to be, they do not have a huge or talented junior base to draw from. It appears that it is also the most efficient method...Rather than developing an entire junior infrastructure and all the costs associated they can just send out their scouts and skim the cream from other clubs endeavours.

    The results don't lie. Melbourne and the Roosters are nearly always in contention and are never that far from their next premiership, whereas the two big junior powerhouses in Penrith and Parramatta haven't won a Premiership since 2003 and 1986!
     
  17. OldPanther

    OldPanther Coach

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    The Roosters just bought something like 5 reserve halves. They are definitely taking a scatter gun approach.
     
  18. Panther_Daz

    Panther_Daz Moderator Staff Member

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    Nailed it
     
  19. Pomoz

    Pomoz Juniors

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    Reserve grade has always been a large step below first grade and with a salary cap in place will it not change. We can still use it to help develop our juniors if we are smart. Previously, we let St Mary's run it for a while and didn't actively manage the delopment of juniors considered to have potential. Well, if it was managed proactively, it was hard to see it.

    Now we see the club moving u20 players into reserve grade for a few games to give them exposure to better adult players. We see Flegg and Matthews players moving up the same way. Now we see the club moving the players up until they are tired and move them back down. This allows them to see what's required to get to the next level.

    We now also integrate this with first grade. I think the 'step up, play a higher level, step down' routine is seeing us produce more first graders than I have ever seen. It's now a numbers games. Superstars will come along every so often. Every other club has the same problem. The Bulldogs haven't produced a superstar since SBW, the Broncos since Lockyer. We just need patience and where possible make astute signings to fill the gaps.
     
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  20. Pomoz

    Pomoz Juniors

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    Well they are and they aren't. Scattergun implies it is random but it is not. Listen to Gus's podcast, this is exactly what he recommends you do if a star player isn't going to stay (Pongia's contract renewal was the topic for discussion) or in Cronk's case, going to retire. You focus your development and recruitment on replacing the star player. If you recruit five halves you are hoping one of them will make it. This is almost an exact copy of the strategy he discussed on "Six tackles with Gus".
     
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