19 May 2020

Episode 262 - Tom Takes All The Pens


This week we're joined by special guests Tom & Paige, who were joint winners of the 2019 Lister of the Year Award. They join Alan, Mark & Sarah as we go through the last week's news and we discuss your views on the best and worst rugby league stadiums. (Apologies in advance that the sound quality on this week's show isn't great from about the hour mark on wards, we genuinely don't know what happened!)

Episode Sponsor
This episode is sponsored by Rob's Toy Shop.
Find a wide range of toys, gifts, rugby league birthday cards and more at Rob’s Toy Shop on eBay. Visit stores.ebay.co.uk/robstoyshop and on any orders over £5 you can earn 5% cashback, and also 1% of your order value will go into the SLP coffers, by putting 'SLPDiscount' at checkout.

How to Listen
Listen to the show on Apple Podcasts here: SLP on Apple Podcasts
If you're not an Apple user, get the show here: SLP on Spreaker
You can also find us on YouTube, or search for us on whatever podcatcher app you use.

Episode running order
News, from 09:46
Match reviews, from 42:00
Stadiums chat & Quiz, from 51:30
Recommendations, from 134:00

Get Involved
Send us YOUR view on the week's news HERE.
Send us YOUR Fan Match Reviews on the weekly match action HERE.
Save the links so when the forms are open you can get your views in for us.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or get in touch by email superleaguepod@gmail.com

Please back our Partners:
  • Rob's Toy Shop - Enter 'SLPDiscount' on checkout at Rob's Toy Shop and get 5% cashback on orders over £5, plus give 1% cashback to SLP.
  • Little Warden - Vital alerts for hidden issues!
  • Mascord Brownz - For all your International RL gear! Use our link https://mascordbrownz.com/?affilates=8 and we get 8% of your order value to help our running costs. Tell us if you've made an order so we can chase them up!
  • Sarah's Bookcase Sarah sells Usborne books and with access to over 3000 titles from baby to teenager there's something for everyone.  
Learn about how you can sponsor SLP here: Super League Pod sponsorship

You can also make a donation to support SLP if you prefer: paypal.me/superleaguepod
All donations are hugely appreciated, large or small.

Offload
Find out more about Offload on their Twitter page or HERE.

Donate to support Mark's 2.6 Challenge
To raise money for Rugby League Cares, Mark ran 26 laps of the park behind his house, each lap in a different Rugby League top. Please  donate if you can here: Mark's Just Giving Page

11 May 2020

Episode 261 - Unable to Pass a Bookies


As the UK moves into loose lock down, we reach Loose Forward in our position-by-position run through. We have your favourites to discuss and a quiz from quiz champion John Scotter to play. We also have the latest SLP poll results and news from the last week to discuss. Plus, cross-code reviews and shock horror other podcasts in the recommendations.

Episode Sponsor
This episode is sponsored by Rob's Toy Shop.
Find a wide range of toys, gifts, rugby league birthday cards and more at Rob’s Toy Shop on eBay. Visit stores.ebay.co.uk/robstoyshop and on any orders over £5 you can earn 5% cashback, and also 1% of your order value will go into the SLP coffers, by putting 'SLPDiscount' at checkout.

How to Listen
Listen to the show on Apple Podcasts here: SLP on Apple Podcasts
If you're not an Apple user, get the show here: SLP on Spreaker
You can also find us on YouTube, or search for us on whatever podcatcher app you use.

Episode running order
News, from 30:45
Match reviews, from 49:45
Loose Forward chat & Quiz, from 71:30
Recommendations, from 132:45

Get Involved
Send us YOUR view on the week's news HERE.
Send us YOUR Fan Match Reviews on the weekly match action HERE.
Save the links so when the forms are open you can get your views in for us.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or get in touch by email superleaguepod@gmail.com

Please back our Partners:
  • Rob's Toy Shop - Enter 'SLPDiscount' on checkout at Rob's Toy Shop and get 5% cashback on orders over £5, plus give 1% cashback to SLP.
  • Little Warden - Vital alerts for hidden issues!
  • Mascord Brownz - For all your International RL gear! Use our link https://mascordbrownz.com/?affilates=8 and we get 8% of your order value to help our running costs. Tell us if you've made an order so we can chase them up!
  • Sarah's Bookcase Sarah sells Usborne books and with access to over 3000 titles from baby to teenager there's something for everyone.  
Learn about how you can sponsor SLP here: Super League Pod sponsorship

You can also make a donation to support SLP if you prefer: paypal.me/superleaguepod
All donations are hugely appreciated, large or small.

Offload
Find out more about Offload on their Twitter page or HERE.

Donate to support Mark's 2.6 Challenge
To raise money for Rugby League Cares, Mark ran 26 laps of the park behind his house, each lap in a different Rugby League top. Please  donate if you can here: Mark's Just Giving Page

4 May 2020

Episode 260 - Don't Drop The Baby


We turn our lock down position-by-position attention to centres this week, as we go through your favourites and share some of our own too. We go grassroots and speak to the guys from Blackpool Stanley Rugby League about their club, the game in Blackpool and their current fundraising efforts for NHS charities. We also get a special visit from Nate G of Rugby League in America Podcast, amongst other podcasts! And, stick around to the end for a teaser preview of an all new Rugby League crime mystery thriller too...

Episode Sponsor
This episode is sponsored by Rob's Toy Shop.
Find a wide range of toys, gifts, rugby league birthday cards and more at Rob’s Toy Shop on eBay. Visit stores.ebay.co.uk/robstoyshop and on any orders over £5 you can earn 5% cashback, and also 1% of your order value will go into the SLP coffers, by putting 'SLPDiscount' at checkout.

Support Blackpool Stanley's fundraising & Charity efforts
We had coach Brett and prop Andy on this week's show talking all about their charity efforts and Rugby League in Blackpool. Click HERE to donate to support Blackpool Stanley's team effort to raise funds to support the club and raise money for NHS charities at the same time.

How to Listen
Listen to the show on Apple Podcasts here: SLP on Apple Podcasts
If you're not an Apple user, get the show here: SLP on Spreaker
You can also find us on YouTube, or search for us on whatever podcatcher app you use.

Episode running order
News, from 25:15
Match reviews, from 54:30
Blackpool Stanley interview, from 62:45
Centre chat & Quiz, from 81:00
Recommendations, from 143:00

Get Involved
Send us YOUR view on the week's news HERE.
Send us YOUR Fan Match Reviews on the weekly match action HERE.
Save the links so when the forms are open you can get your views in for us.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or get in touch by email superleaguepod@gmail.com

Please back our Partners:
  • Rob's Toy Shop - Enter 'SLPDiscount' on checkout at Rob's Toy Shop and get 5% cashback on orders over £5, plus give 1% cashback to SLP.
  • Little Warden - Vital alerts for hidden issues!
  • Mascord Brownz - For all your International RL gear! Use our link https://mascordbrownz.com/?affilates=8 and we get 8% of your order value to help our running costs. Tell us if you've made an order so we can chase them up!
  • Sarah's Bookcase Sarah sells Usborne books and with access to over 3000 titles from baby to teenager there's something for everyone.  
Learn about how you can sponsor SLP here: Super League Pod sponsorship

You can also make a donation to support SLP if you prefer: paypal.me/superleaguepod
All donations are hugely appreciated, large or small.

Offload
Find out more about Offload on their Twitter page or HERE.

Donate to support Mark's 2.6 Challenge
To raise money for Rugby League Cares, Mark ran 26 laps of the park behind his house, each lap in a different Rugby League top. Please  donate if you can here: Mark's Just Giving Page

29 April 2020

A Way Forward for Rugby League - by Mark


I've been trying to write about it for weeks. But every single 'solution' just gives rise to another problem or obstacle. I've come to the conclusion it's impossible for those in charge at the top to have a clear answer on what to do right now. So how can an opinionated fan like me provide an answer? So, I'm giving up thinking of short term answers for how we get the game going again in 2020.

Medium term, the Rugby League World Cup has to be preserved. The NRL might not agree, but the game is bigger than the NRL, and the World Cup is essential for the global game. Domestic seasons in 2021 need to be worked with this in mind. If that means a shortened off season for the NRL players, it means a shortened off season for the NRL. If that means a fewer games for the Super League clubs, it means fewer games for the Super League. 

But long term, we have to see this as an opportunity to re-solidify the house of Rugby League. An opportunity to reset our focus, define a clear plan and put in place a way to execute it. I would argue it needs a two-pronged approach, and it won't be victimless, sadly. 

Prong One is the focus on grassroots, both in the heartlands and in our thinking on expansion. Effectively, fixing up the foundations on the house.

Prong Two is our main external asset, the top tier of the game, our full-time professional clubs. Keeping the house analogy going, we're re-tiling the roof, re-pointing the brickwork, getting new windows - this top tier is what the outside world sees and ultimately it's what stops the house from crumbling around us.

The semi-pro game - jobs like landscaping the garden, redecorating the hall and stairs, that sort of stuff - is just going to have to wait, unfortunately. We can't put focus on everything, especially right now. Outside of the governing body providing refs and regulatory support, any clubs who want to run at that level may have to fend even more for themselves I'm afraid.

Prong One - Grassroots
I'm no expert on the grassroots of our game. One thing I do know is that without the grassroots, we've got no kids playing the game they watch and fall in love with. We have to find a way to bring back a network of development officers.

The heartlands will always be able to rely somewhat on the army of wonderful volunteers and natural links with the professional clubs. Whilst that undoubtedly involves and deserves central governing body support, we also need to deploy long-term development officers to our targeted expansion areas.

This can be the areas where semi-pro clubs have already set up their roots - Newcastle, Coventry, North London, for example. This can also be geographic expansion targets - Canada, USA, Serbia, Spain, maybe (hopefully) places like Edinburgh, Belfast, Bristol too. It would be expansion and development with a structured plan.

The RFL should identify areas with existing rugby league presence, including heartland/heartland-adjacent towns and cities too, and areas with untapped appetite for the sport. Talk to the key stakeholders in those areas - the existing rugby league clubs, local education authorities, local councils. Do some analysis of the gaps and opportunities, then distribute resources accordingly.

The plan would have to involve some visibility from the full-time game in these expansion/development areas. Regular 'on-the-road' top tier games staged in these areas, half-term training camps featuring full-time players, for example. The professional game would have to fully support and cooperate with this to make it work.

Prong Two - Top tier
It's time to separate the full-time clubs from the part-time clubs and create a proper elite top tier competition. This wouldn't be a locking of the door to potential new full-time clubs joining the top-tier. It doesn't even need to mean a removal of promotion and relegation from the competition structure. But, it would be a fundamental shift away from the current destabilising position we have.

The league would be far more centrally managed, with much more revenue sharing and best practice cooperation between clubs. Think NFL more so than Premier League. Even down to kit manufacturers, sponsorship and of course gate revenues, more cooperation and sharing has to exist than now to have a truly robust competition.

We would need a criteria to be part of this elite league, not all clubs can or want to be full-time. Only teams with a proven record of running as a successful full-time club would get automatic entry. E.g. a current ownership supporting a full-time operation for 10 years or more, league or cup trophy success in the last 5 years, regular production of Super League & international calibre players.

Otherwise, business plans would need to be submitted and assessed. It doesn't mean having the same business model for all, but clubs need to show how they can operate as full-time and where their finances will come from. This would be especially crucial for any 'new entrants', those clubs not currently operating full-time but with an ambition to be at the top table.

Once we know how many full-time teams we have, we can put our new league structure together. I would strongly recommend rugby league looks to the conference based structure we see in US sports. It even works in US grassroots Rugby League.

I've written a number of times about this being my favoured structure, so won't go into detail here. See instead:
Whilst some of the pieces have moved and some of my peripheral opinions have changed, this for me is still the way to go - for the NRL as well as the northern hemisphere game. An end game could be that the global club game all operates under the same competition structure. Again, this model would allow for expansion within a structured plan. 

Fundamentally, for the sport to prosper going forward, we need stronger leadership, with a more coordinated plan, working in a more cooperative environment. Hopefully, if any good comes to rugby league from this global crisis, it will be this.

Thanks for reading. Please check out our weekly posts and listen to our podcast episodes.

Mark
SLP

27 April 2020

Episode 259 - What's His Name?


We have two special guests this week as we talk prop forwards. Regulars Mark & Alan are joined by Leeds fan John to discuss our favourite biff dishing frustrated half-backs. Former Super League & Great Britain prop Barrie McDermott also drops by to give his more expert opinion on the position. Which prop is the worst loser? Which one hurt Mark's ginger prince? There's a lot to get to this week...

Episode Sponsor
This episode is sponsored by Rob's Toy Shop.
Find a wide range of toys, gifts, rugby league birthday cards and more at Rob’s Toy Shop on eBay. Visit stores.ebay.co.uk/robstoyshop and on any orders over £5 you can earn 5% cashback, and also 1% of your order value will go into the SLP coffers, by putting 'SLPDiscount' at checkout.

Donate to support Mark's 2.6 Challenge
To raise money for Rugby League Cares, Mark ran 26 laps of the park behind his house, each lap in a different Rugby League top. Please  donate if you can here: Mark's Just Giving Page

How to Listen
Listen to the show on Apple Podcasts here: SLP on Apple Podcasts
If you're not an Apple user, get the show here: SLP on Spreaker
You can also find us on YouTube, or search for us on whatever podcatcher app you use.

Episode running order
News, from 26:00
Match reviews, from 41:45
Prop chat & Quiz, from 50:00
Recommendations, from 140:45

Get Involved
Send us YOUR view on the week's news HERE.
Send us YOUR Fan Match Reviews on the weekly match action HERE.
Save the links so when the forms are open you can get your views in for us.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or get in touch by email superleaguepod@gmail.com

Please back our Partners:
  • Rob's Toy Shop - Enter 'SLPDiscount' on checkout at Rob's Toy Shop and get 5% cashback on orders over £5, plus give 1% cashback to SLP.
  • Little Warden - Vital alerts for hidden issues!
  • Mascord Brownz - For all your International RL gear! Use our link https://mascordbrownz.com/?affilates=8 and we get 8% of your order value to help our running costs. Tell us if you've made an order so we can chase them up!
  • Sarah's Bookcase Sarah sells Usborne books and with access to over 3000 titles from baby to teenager there's something for everyone.  
Learn about how you can sponsor SLP here: Super League Pod sponsorship

You can also make a donation to support SLP if you prefer: paypal.me/superleaguepod
All donations are hugely appreciated, large or small.

Offload
Find out more about Offload on their Twitter page or HERE.


20 April 2020

Episode 258 - Play it to Yourself


We're back with another lock down positional special. This week we're talking wingers and we get the annual appearance from Wire fan Leigh, joining regulars Alan, Mark & Sarah. With wingers, we get both great try stats and great nicknames to discuss. Although we have loads of your views in, a few similar names keep coming back up...can you guess them already? We also cover the last week in news and tell you what we've been watching this week.

Episode Sponsor
This episode is sponsored by Rob's Toy Shop.
Find a wide range of toys, gifts, rugby league birthday cards and more at Rob’s Toy Shop on eBay. Visit stores.ebay.co.uk/robstoyshop and on any orders over £5 you can earn 5% cashback, and also 1% of your order value will go into the SLP coffers, by putting 'SLPDiscount' at checkout.

How to Listen
Listen to the show on Apple Podcasts here: SLP on Apple Podcasts
If you're not an Apple user, get the show here: SLP on Spreaker
You can also find us on YouTube, or search for us on whatever podcatcher app you use.

Episode running order
News, from 05:15
Match reviews, from 42:15
Winger chat & Quiz, from 61:00
Recommendations, from 149:15

Get Involved
Send us YOUR view on the week's news HERE.
Send us YOUR Fan Match Reviews on the weekly match action HERE.
Save the links so when the forms are open you can get your views in for us.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or get in touch by email superleaguepod@gmail.com

Please back our Partners:
  • Rob's Toy Shop - Enter 'SLPDiscount' on checkout at Rob's Toy Shop and get 5% cashback on orders over £5, plus give 1% cashback to SLP.
  • Little Warden - Vital alerts for hidden issues!
  • Mascord Brownz - For all your International RL gear! Use our link https://mascordbrownz.com/?affilates=8 and we get 8% of your order value to help our running costs. Tell us if you've made an order so we can chase them up!
  • Sarah's Bookcase Sarah sells Usborne books and with access to over 3000 titles from baby to teenager there's something for everyone.  
Learn about how you can sponsor SLP here: Super League Pod sponsorship

You can also make a donation to support SLP if you prefer: paypal.me/superleaguepod
All donations are hugely appreciated, large or small.

Offload
Find out more about Offload on their Twitter page or HERE.

13 April 2020

Episode 257 - The Fringe of Professionalism


Another week in Rugby League lock down, another special guest host joins SLP. This week we're talking about second rowers, from a man who came through the St Helens system in that position. Hear how the position has changed and who the best at that position are, past and present. We'll also cover the news, any re-watch match reviews you've sent in and catch up on our recommendations from the last week, this week including spoilers!

Episode Sponsor
This episode is sponsored by Rob's Toy Shop.
Find a wide range of toys, gifts, rugby league birthday cards and more at Rob’s Toy Shop on eBay. Visit stores.ebay.co.uk/robstoyshop and on any orders over £5 you can earn 5% cashback, and also 1% of your order value will go into the SLP coffers, by putting 'SLPDiscount' at checkout.

How to Listen
Listen to the show on Apple Podcasts here: SLP on Apple Podcasts
If you're not an Apple user, get the show here: SLP on Spreaker
You can also find us on YouTube, or search for us on whatever podcatcher app you use.

Episode running order
News, from 08:30
Match reviews, from 40:45
2nd Row chat & Quiz, from 59:00
Recommendations, from 142:15

Get Involved
Send us YOUR view on the week's news HERE.
Send us YOUR Fan Match Reviews on the weekly match action HERE.
Save the links so when the forms are open you can get your views in for us.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or get in touch by email superleaguepod@gmail.com

Please back our Partners:
  • Rob's Toy Shop - Enter 'SLPDiscount' on checkout at Rob's Toy Shop and get 5% cashback on orders over £5, plus give 1% cashback to SLP.
  • Little Warden - Vital alerts for hidden issues!
  • Mascord Brownz - For all your International RL gear! Use our link https://mascordbrownz.com/?affilates=8 and we get 8% of your order value to help our running costs. Tell us if you've made an order so we can chase them up!
  • Sarah's Bookcase Sarah sells Usborne books and with access to over 3000 titles from baby to teenager there's something for everyone.  
Learn about how you can sponsor SLP here: Super League Pod sponsorship

You can also make a donation to support SLP if you prefer: paypal.me/superleaguepod
All donations are hugely appreciated, large or small.

Offload
Find out more about Offload on their Twitter page or HERE.