From another thread that i posted
There was a massive push for how to pay back the Warriors for their sacrifices during Covid. It cost the game so much in NZ with massive losses financially and our Junior System being dismantled and scuttled as lockdowns put an end to anything that had started.
A lot of the talk was how bout let the Warriors play all 24 games in NZ. Personally im in favour of that since they sacrificed being away from home so the comp could keep going.
After thinking about it i think there is another way the NRL could pay us back that would have huge benefits to not only the Warriors but the game in NZ and help secure long term sustainability.
The NRL should help set up our Junior structure similar to what i previously posted about the Tigers set up.
* NRL to finance the Warriors entry into the NSWRL Harold Matthews Comp (U17s), SG Ball (U19s) for a 5 year period to get our kids experianced against the highest standard of competition and experiance the riggers and professional habits of travelling like a professional athlete. The Warriors should appoint a mentor for both teams for example somone like Awen Guttenbiel for 17s and Simon Mannering for 19s. They will travel with the teams advising on diets, sleeping habits, relaxing activities so that their preperation is 100% so all they have to worry about is performance.
* NRL to appoint and Finance an ambassador for all away teams that travel to Auckland to play against the Warriors. For example all games should be on a Saturday with the odd game on a Sunday regardless of when 1st grade play. Remember the rep season is from February to April. If Penrith were travelling to Auckland on the Friday for their Harold Matts and SG Ball games on Saturday then the NRL should appoint a former Penrith Legend to travel a day earlier and hold perhaps a training session or a mental health workshop. Perhaps a former Kiwi would be good eg Tony Puleatua or Frank Pritchard or if its not a Kiwi then maybe Mark Geyer or Timana Tahu. Or if its Parramatta then maybe FuiFui MoiMoi or Feleti Mateo. It would have to be someone that the kids know/relate to. Have them front and centre in the local media about the importance of mentoring the kids and how many opportuinites are out there for the kids if they really want it.
* NRL to finance game days for home games for Warriors Harold Matts and SG Ball home games. DO NOT HAVE THEM AT MT SMART. Take it to grounds where the they have strong juniors with a great community backing. And some half decent facilities. Promote it as the best of Penrith taking on the best of Auckland etc. The NRL to send over a small team to set up activities for gameday, have halftime entertainment like club relay races when the winning club gets $1000 towards gear or free 1st grade tickets.
* Before the rep season even starts the NRL and the Warriors need to go through the list of players selected from both squads and work out with all Auckland Juinor RL clubs an even and fair way if possible to feed back the local talent to clubs. For example when the rep season finishes and the players are released back to their clubs the Warriors and ARL need to liase with clubs to evenly distribute the talent so sides are not stacked with 10 rep players and just mince through other teams. An example would be that if the Warriors spine of 1 6 7 and 9 in the Harold Matts squad try and go back to the same club, then they would ruled out and perhaps sanctioned. Only in the event that it is an absolute must (perhaps a player has 2 or 3 siblings at the club) then it should be allowed. The Harold Matts starting 6 could be paired with a younger 7 whos been identified as an up and coming player at a club thats not as strong or the 2 starting props for SG Ball could play for a club that doesnt have strong forwards. They are just a few examples. Ive seen it 1st hand the influence a kid has on other kids coming back from a rep program. We had a young kid at my club in 2021 make the Tigers U16s as a 5/8. He was a good player who had potential, understood footy and always listened to Coaches and managers etc. Anyways he trialled and made the squad and went on and played 7 out of the 8 games and came back to our club 1000 times fitter, faster and smarter than any other player and lead his team (and i mean literally lead) into the Semi Finals. All because he was exposed to the best Coaching while being amongst the best players in the District. I gurentee 90 out of every 100 kids will go back to their clubs exactly the same.
* The NRL would be a 3rd party to the above by putting aside funds to help the Warriors and ARL contract most of these kids. It would be on 1 year deals perhaps 7k to help parents with travel demands and because the incentive would always be there and no room to be complacent as the next set of kids hopefully will be kicking the door down for a chance.
Once the 3 year deal is up hopefully the Warriors will have there sh1t together and be able to not only sustain this model but also ramp it up to heights the game in NZ has never seen. By the time the 5 years is up the majority of the kids picked in Harold Matts should not only be in the Warriors reserve grade side and developed enough to push for 1st grade selection. Because by then they will know what its like to be a professional footy player and have all the knowledge on how to prepare and recover and their focus will be on performance. The key here is PATIENCE, the Warriors have to be patient with these kids.
This is only my opinion going forward and should be started in 2024