The detail below is designed to keep all our players informed – if you ever want more detail – just ask Ryan Lewis or Mike Palin.
Matt Birkett of the RFL presented. He showed that all the junior leagues in the North West had committed to summer but that at open age level, there will be playing opportunities for clubs who want to play in either winter or summer. The National Conference League has switched to summer but, as it stands, there has been no final outcome on what NCL ‘A’ Teams will do next summer. In the interim season they will play matches amongst themselves, however some sides have indicated that they would prefer to join the summer league while some clubs in the room hinted that they might wish to keep a team in winter. That is for the NCL and the clubs in that league to decide.
For the Tier 4 North West Summer League next season;
The RFL propose that an interim management committee is set up that includes the RFL’s Matt Birkett, an RFL administrator for the competition, and three club representatives. One of the club representatives will Chair that interim committee.
In normal circumstances, the league would hold an AGM to elect these posts but given how close the interim season is it is felt more appropriate to appoint three representatives. Then, in November, a traditional meeting can be held and people voted onto the committee ready for the full summer season. At this point the committee may then be expanded if deemed necessary.
The interim management committee would be responsible for determining the initial rules of the competition on behalf of its clubs, in consultation with them.
Going forward, the aim would be to do as much of the league organising online and electronically including player registrations which it is thought will simplify the administration. The RFL also foresee there being three meetings a year unless more are deemed necessary.
Based on the expression of interests received, there are c. 60 teams (if you include NCL ‘A’ Teams) indicating they would be interested in playing summer. This would result in a Premier Division of 10 clubs, three Divisions below that of 11/12 clubs and a ‘Emerging’ Division of c. 13 clubs. Without the NCL ‘A’ Teams there would be two divisions below the Premier and an Emerging Division.
Who plays in which division has not been finalized and clubs were urged to select which calendar they wish to play in as soon as is possible in order to allow both the North West Summer League and North West Counties Winter League to plan effectively for September. All clubs MUST complete their commitments to whichever league they sign up with, whether this be in playing all fixtures or accepting corresponding fines should they switch late.
In the North West, the Interim league will run in the twelve weeks between September 3rd to November 26th. Teams will be expected to play between 10 and 12 matches.
The interim league may be operated as a ‘grading’ competition to determine which division clubs play in the summer in which case every match will be against a different opposition. Alternatively it may simply operate as a standalone league, with home and away fixtures against 5-6 opponents. The 2012 summer league proper will then start on March 3rd.
It is proposed that teams will also play in a national Tier 4 cup competition. Regional rounds would be played in April and May, with national rounds in June and July. The final would be held in London over the Challenge Cup weekend.
To help clubs plan a rough ‘idea’ of which clubs would be placed in which division based on recent seasons was shown under two scenarios (with/without NCL ‘A’ Teams). With NCL ‘A’ Teams, Bury Broncos were provisionally listed as being in Division 2 alongside some familiar faces such as Newton Storm and Rochdale Cobras. Division 3 would include teams like Little Hulton and Mancunians as well as ‘A’ Teams from the likes of Folly Lane. Under a scenario where there was no NCL ‘A’ Teams Bury Broncos was listed within Division 1. Full listings of the two divisions we have been placed in can be found below.
At the club obviously things continue to move at pace. We consulted with players in the spring and are committed to the switchover and have indicated so to the RFL already. The competition side of things is now getting closer so we really need players to step up and be counted over upcoming months. Being placed in a relatively high division shows just how much we have developed over three years; particularly last season where we gained some notable scalps and finished in a really solid mid-table position. Moving to summer will definitely be a challenge but also a really good opportunity for us and one we should all be looking to grasp.
SUMMER LEAGUE DIVISION 2 (with NCL 'A" Teams)
Bamber Bridge, Blackbrook 'A', BURY BRONCOS, Eccles 'A', Liverpool Buccaneers, Newton Storm, Rochdale Cobras, Rochdale Mayfield 'A', Rylands Sharks 'A', Waterhead 'A', Wigan Riversiders, Widnes West Bank 'A'
SUMMER LEAGUE DIVISION 1 (without NCL 'A' Teams)
Bamber Bridge, BURY BRONCOS, Burtonwood Bridge, Blackbrook 'A', Latchford Albion, Liverpool Buccaneers, Newton Storm, Rochdale Cobras, Rylands Sharks 'A', Widnes St Maries 'A', Wigan Riversiders
The slides presented can be found here: http://files.pitchero.com/clubs/1029/NWMLMeetingJuly2011.pdf