Where is our talent coming from

This is a slightly different tack to the same old questions, but at the same time, I think it identifies with Parra's need to be more visionary with our development squads and recruitment.

Last night I was at the annual presentation of a senior district club. I am a life member and a past president of it, but not hands-on anymore.

I could not help but note that their minor grades, the under 19's and even the first-grade side are getting crap results.

In asking why are we not winning anything, the answer I got was we were struggling to find the "cattle" but I said what about the juniors and they said the quality in our pathways is not working, why aren't you recruiting outside of your pathways (this club has a huge junior base). I said that if you get some talent from outside of our natural pathways and blend it with the locals, you will see big changes. Well, they are developing the girls grades, doing a 1 1/2 million ground-up grade, better facilities and so on. But, they have lost track of performing on the field.

Has Parramata RLDC fallen for the same tactical problem? We obviously have a second-grade Cup team with limited ability to play first-grade. I was not concerned 3 years ago when Jordan Rankin came into captain and mentor the side. I think he was a specific reason JA developed so fast. I watch JA at that time when he first came into Cup and he was getting the wraps, but really it was set up by Rankin. JA's subsequent development is irrelevant, as many will not make it. There is no need to argue whether he specifically will or not: he is no superstar young half-back that is being identified in a lot of other clubs. The Titans absolutely have some outstanding juniors coming through and that means some/ many will miss out. We need to be looking at these kids from the get-go.

Quiet simply, if I was a Parra talent scout I would have a dossier on every junior club, country, state and national teams. And sure, yes, continue to develop our pathways but create scholarships into some other teams from other area's. We are missing a lot of talent, and if I was a board member, I would want to know why and what are we doing about it.

The leagues is exceptionally successful now, application of such riches needs to be spent on all sorts of feeders, the club will prosper in the long run......i.e can we have a secondary NSW cup side playing, if Blacktown workers can have one, why not us talking to them and identifying them with our Kellyville programmes, the same with Wenty and maybe a country team as well.

This is fine, but 3 years later Rankin is still actually playing and I don't think we can afford this, compared to 3 years ago when our reserve grade was a mess. 

Now I believe that our Reserve Grade side needs to be young players especially chosen with the potential to be playing first grade within 3 years of arriving, not guys who are not progressing that way, we need to be ruthless and send out the message to young players, especially country kids, islanders, rugby sevens and anywhere else we can find talent.

We have seen in recent weeks that guys like Hands, Greig, Doory etc are much more capable than originally conceived.

Likewise, for some others as well and they are being held back because our coaches are not opening the opportunities when they present. We should never have had to wait this long for Hands to be identified.

Worryingly, if the game that just passed us by this last Thursday is any indication, BA has learnt nothing from his revelation the week before. Leaving Hodgson on (not JH's fault) was a huge tactical blunder after he worked through the period of the first sin bin. Hands should have been on as soon as that player ran back on the field. Then Hodgson would not have had to struggle through the next sin-binning.

Talent needs to be supported by the coaching staff and we all know now that BA is letting a lot pass through to the keeper.

Christ, we are flat out finding anyone that can run fast. Dumpster and Russell have been identified, but to be frank the pair are not anything special (yes the best we have) but not standouts.

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  • Good read mate.

    There seems a massive lack of progression/opportunity for players in the lower grades to the top grade, could this be a reason why players don't play to their potential in reserve grade?

    I'm not against signing project type players like Manu Ma'u, Danny Wicks, Papali'i etc and giving them time to regain past potential or ability but I am against the seemingly lack of opportunity gibven to those who are coming through from within the club.


    • We are agreeing, yes the Ma'u, Wicks and Papali were first graders and identified as such, good examples of recruitment working, but if they didn't present as First Graders, get rid of them.....your points are valid, thanks for the constructive input JB.

  • Has parra with its junior base produced a superstar in the last ten years.   No.  Luca Moretti who was chased by everyone sits languishing. The use of Hands against Roosters was dumb.  But hey, the boss got extended.    

    • Yes, I getting sick of defending him Seth on the basis of no obvious replacement, but shit he really has cost us this season I believe with poor coaching from a man management prespective.

    • This reply was deleted.
      • I think we can be critical without being defensive Brissy, obviously we have done well within the First Grade structure and focus, I was/am a great supporter of pushing young players with above average ability like Mahoney, Brown,Penisini straight to firsts, but we are not producing/finding enough....the Hands argument stands out like dog balls as does the use of him in this last game. We can explore this further on just that alone.

      • What is ok means? My OK means winning games. At this moment we are 1-4. 
        So most of the players are not going ok.

        We got to start to call things as we see.

    • What about the post match press conference, it's like watching the same clip every week, I must feel for how boring Brad must be with the playing group every week.

      "The effort was there", "have to ice the big moments", "chasing collision" etc.

      Have we become that stale as a club?

      Is it time for a change of voice and a bit of personality?

      • This reply was deleted.
        • Yes Brissy and John, don't get lost on BA's style in the pressor, he doesn't keep or lose his job on our perceptions of his persona, we should just focus on the things we need to worry about.

  • Poppa, great blog. We've touched on this before, but I think it comes down to the mentality we have up top. It's conservative and all about stability.

    Extending BA personifies that. Fits like a glove. And BA is all about pick and stick, front-loaded effort, structure and order, and rolling your sleeves up before you earn the right to play footy.

    Our footy board is built on professional, accomplished employees (safety and stability) rather than any business owners - movers and shakes (risk-takers) - that think Big, make their passion, visions and dreams happen - doing whatever it takes, regardless of the obstacles. Even doing creative things in the dark to realize their dreams.

    On the plus side, our run from 2019 over five years, is one of our best since the glory days. Again, it personifies a certain sort of stability.

    On the downside, we'll never be true Kings Of The Jungle. A dominating force of nature that we saw at times with the likes of the Storm, Roosters or more recently the Panthers this century. It is what it is.

    The other problem is: stability never lasts forever. Eventually, things change, and either the mentality needs to evolve and adapt, or regression, rot, staleness and even boredom sets in which sets off another chain reaction. Another cycle begins. It's inevitable. I wonder when that will happen or are we seeing the beginning of that? I'm not sure yet.

    The other side of BA, which I'm not going to dive deeper into, is less flattering, more complex, more wily and hidden. He runs his own show - sometimes a family and friends affair. And financially, he's probably doing a lot better out of it than we might expect for more reasons than meet the eye.

    We'll eventually start winning games in the top grade, Pops, though, as plenty of other clubs are even worse than us!

    You only need to remember what we had before The Great Change up top with the Donnelly-reshape-post-cap-scandal which all makes sense after all the faction serf-wars we had post-Emperor. Our Middle Ages.

    But, we'll be topsy-turvy. A bit like employees who will show up on their good days, but not every day of the week.

    Until the next Big Cycle.

    • Alright for you Hoe my Big Cycle is nearly up on this planet. I selfishly need titles . Under this management and Arthur's snail like progression I doubt I will. And I did say  Superstar. Aka Hayne. 

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