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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Farrell lashes out at amateur clubs over junior signings

RL coach Dave Farrell has bashed some of west Cumbria’s leading amateur clubs over their stance on signing junior talent.

Farrell, the ex-Haven reserve grade manager, recently took co-charge of Arlecdon & Frizington Under-16s and claims smaller clubs like his are suffering due to unnamed bigger outfits signing their players. And he pledged to take action throu-gh the West Cumbria Youth League if it does not change.

“These clubs are rightly saying the league is struggli-ng, but then I find them signing our players,” he said.

“I find that arrogant and hypocritical. I run a team that’s not going to win anything, and we are still losing players to stronger clubs.

“As a result those teams get stronger and the weak get weaker, with lads at weaker clubs losing the incentive to turn up every week.

“The stronger clubs are signing significantly more players than they can give genuine game time to.

“They need to recognise their responsibilities to the game as a whole. No one denies them the right to have good squads and be the best in the competition.

“They work hard and I recognise that. But they have to recognise that this is a community game, with lads representing their communities and villages, alongside their friends.

“They need to accept that the elite players at these age groups are already catered for in the Cumbria Academy, and the clubs’ focus has to be on the community game, and act accordingly. I have been involved with junior rugby since 1978 and think I speak with authority about it.”

Farrell added that the West Cumbria Youth League would stringently apply the by-law over maximum squad sizes this season.

“I commend them for that,” he continued. “Any squad can contain a maximum of 25 players and only 17 can be named on the team-sheet.

“They should look at the Furness League, where clubs with a surplus of players send them to other clubs.

“Our clubs can do the right thing or I will go to the next Youth League AGM and propose we adopt the Furness model.”

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