A couple of major issues in our own backyard, Blacktown Patrician Bros has Penrith junior recruitment heavily involved, we have just started to make inroads, but their sportmaster is ex Riff so they tend to be favoured.Even worse is Westfields Sports, where we lost our grip about 8 years ago, Manly hired their football coach into their junior rep system and he heavily influences boys to join Manly. Again that is now recognised , but a long way to get back to where the Eels should be.
Fairfield Pats are just rebuilding their league progamme, so we should try and influence them more.
The Penrith junior league is much stronger in numbers at 15 years and above, but still suffer from the big clubs sucking players into their teams and inevitably becoming effectively a 3/4 team comp, but they do have Div 2 and Div 3 teams which help.
If you want to look at successes in the Parra system it’s playing U18 on Friday nights giving them a free weekend (that age group like it), still not as strong as Penrith but getting better.
Overall there has been improvement since BA insisted that we show more emphasis in our juniors, but probably still 3/4 years behind Penrith. Juniors were an afterthought and declined once Brian Smith‘s JETS initiative wasnt progressed after he left, it’s back in place now but it had to rebuilt and refocussed. Looking at young players in Reggies and below, it’s promising .
Thanks for the info Delboy, but from what you are saying it seems we can do a lot better. All I am saying is if we can get the best to fix it, then we should. You say we are getting there, but I don't have faith after such a terrible history of getting it wrong. Our juniors have declined by more then 1000 and talent has dwindled to a trickle, so until I start seeing significant improvements in both these areas, sorry but it all just sounds like more noise. I see that there are some green shoots here and there, but (even though our numbers have declined) by the virtue of the size of our catchment area, we will always see some green shoots.
Results are what count in this business. Words are for the also rans and losers.